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Caution Flag List

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Professional inventors wish to help invention promotion companies do the best job possible. To that end we are collaborating with numerous State and Federal agencies to help invention promotion firms achieve their full potential. 

The following list documents how we evaluate whether or not invention promotion companies or people merit much more caution then normal.

Wallet with money flying away It has been widely reported that many companies whose services are of questionable value - or even outright fraud - threaten to sue, and in some cases even threaten to hurt, those who speak out about the problem.  A warning for those who would try to quell free speech in the inventor community.  I work extensively with many journalists and other media.  Any threats, to sue or otherwise, will be promptly passed to the media.  This will get the questionable party much more publicity than this page alone does.

Any company who actually brings a SLAPP suit will be counter sued, and all appropriate information gleaned in discovery will be passed to the appropriate law enforcement authorities.

 

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InventorEd does not add organizations to the extreme caution list unless there are multiple indicators of problems.  The types of things which trigger addition to the list are usually more then one of the following reasons, but not necessarily all of them:

1) Deceptive sales tactics, such as a representation that something is free or contingency, when in fact there are significant up front charges.

2) High pressure sales, such as claims that the party must engage the promoter within some short period of time or miss some significant opportunity.

3) Indiscriminate solicitation of business, as in a shotgun approach, as opposed to targeting very specific markets.

4) Minimal information being provided as to who the players are in the business.  This is important because there is a history of known bad players launching new companies, and on occasion using other people as fronts.

5) Lack of association with known good players in the business.

6) Absence of published success rate, as in xxx clients purchased services and xx made significant money, as in a profit in excess of their expenses.  The success stories must be verifiable!!

7) Customer complaints.

8) Civil or criminal action has been taken against the promoter (InventorEd does check legal and news databases for such information).

9) The threat of or actual use of SLAPP suits to silence clients, inventor advocates, or employees.

10) The creation of impressive sounding organizations which serve as references.

11) Telling clients that the promoter is not subject to the terms of the American Inventors Protection Act of 1999, i.e., failure to disclose success rate.

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Site Index - Contact Us - InventorEd, Inc., Page last revised 4-2-2004

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Unhappy Customer

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$10,000 to $20,000 Wasted money

Source FTC Jodie Bernstein