Ronald J. Riley's Invention Promoter Caution List

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ISC - Owner Threatens Critics

ISC wants Your Business

Over 50 US Branch Offices - Australia - Canada - Ireland - United Kingdom

Invention Submission Corporation (ISC) and associated companies have earned special treatment on this page because the organization has the distinction of being the largest and most aggressive maze of companies of it's type, read about their indiscretions at the Federal Trade Commission site. - FTC-93 - FTC-95 All of Mr. Berger's known associates are marked on this list in RED.

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Return to the threat - Responses to ISC's Mr. Martin Berger's Threats

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  -----Original Message-----
From: Jim Harris <>
To: Andy Gibbs <>
Cc: Ron Riley <>
Date: Friday, November 06, 1998 9:20 AM

Andy, old boy!  You wrote:

>High profile is better - except for me -- don't let anyone know I'll be on
>TV -- otherwise, I might blow it  :-)

What are you thinking about here, "blow it," sounds like a bad Monica
Lewinsky joke!  Or do you mean the camera, as in broken?  haha

I will pull up the case files on ISC and forward them to you with my
blessing for your homepage.  As well, if CNN allows you, it would be a
neat contrast to first read Martin Bergers letter that was posted on
inventnet, and then examine the charges in the two cases brought before
the courts via the FTC.

I will try to get all of this done today.

Would you mind posting my November article on my website?  Thanks!

A bit later my friend, give me a call when time allows!


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  -----Original Message-----
From: Ronald J. Riley <
Date: Friday, November 06, 1998 1:18 PM
Subject: Inventor Scam Corporation (ISC)

The FTC released a statement which said:


"Invention Submission Corporation of Pittsburgh,
Pennsylvania, has agreed to pay $1.2 million for consumer redress
as part of a settlement of Federal Trade Commission charges it
misrepresented the nature, quality, and success rate of the
invention promotion services it sold to consumers."

Based on the above FTC statement - and on many comments from past ISC
( ) customers - it is my opinion that ISC is a
****SCAM**** which fleeces unwary inventors of large amounts of money for
services which are not effective.  According to FTC documents, ISC and it's
sister organizations have been scamming inventors since 1984.

As I have been reading all the FTC documents, and identifying the various
scamsters, it has become clear to me  that ISC is by far the  largest and
most aggressive ****SCAM**** operation.  The others all pale in comparison.

Truth is a defense against libel charges.  I invite Mr. Berger to make my
day.  In fact, a suit by Mr. Berger against any critic would raise the news
worthiness of this issue by one to two orders of magnitude.

A meritless suit would be grounds to bring a counter libel or more likely
slander suit.  Such a suit would be an excellent forum to seek damages in
the amount of say two to ten million.  Legal action on the part of Mr.
Berger would galvanize the inventor community, and supply the focus to drive
a class action suit on behalf of all parties injured by Mr. Berger and ISC.
It could be that such civil action would accomplish what the fed's could
not, namely closing down ISC once and for all.

It would also be appropriate to involve inventors and the governments of
inventors who are being scammed internationally, I am sure Mr. Berger would
enjoy fighting the battle on more than one front.

I bet that Mr. Nader's organization would love such a case, especially if we
gave the situation a catchy media description like "crooked at any speed".
And there is no shortage of private attorneys who would enjoy becoming rich
with a class action suit.  Now that would be true irony.

Ronald J. Riley

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  -----Original Message-----
From: David Pressman <
Date: Friday, November 06, 1998 9:35 PM

Regarding the "invention developers" which I call FCIEs (Fee-Collecting
Inventon Exploiters), a guy who was a former employe of one of them in
Pittsburgh called me last year and told me why they stay in the business.
This guy worked several years for one of them and made an average of $200K
per year. He said he felt guilty about ripping off inventors, but his
Mercedes and new house, etc. assuaged his guilt. Finally he couldn't stand
it any more and got out. He told me about their boiler rooms, their prepared
scripts which can answer any challenge from their pigeon-clients, their
lawyers who agressively fight off challenges, etc. He urged me to keep up
the heat. An educated public and an agressive FTC are their worse enemies.


David Pressman, Patent Lawyer, S.F.
Author, "Patent It Yourself"
The world's best-selling patent
guidebook. Also in interactive software.

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  -----Original Message-----
From: George Morgan <
Date: Friday, November 06, 1998 11:46 PM

Attaboy, Mr. Riley. Count my hand as up also. The ISC has both a
Louisville, Ky. & a Nashville office that are very active. They advertise
heavily in this area so have sheared a number of the sheep around here.
Many people are so embarrassed they don't complain. A way to combat ISC is
for practitioners to place their listings under and above the ISC ads under
"Patent Searchers" which is how ISC lists in this area. I must admit, when
ISC is advertising in this area, I pick up clients. Of course, having a
listing in the phone book yellow pages, locally, under Patent Searchers, my
low key listing comes out as if I am a local phone number for them. I
suggested to some other people they list as a searcher also, so we had them
"blanketed" last year, one above & one below. (Note: Don't call me for just
a patent search, as I only get involved in them to help my clients. I just
list in the local phone book as a way to get calls in competition with
ICS.)  Don't restrict their ads, just compormise them. George H. Morgan,
Professional Engineer, Patent Agent, visit my site at

> From: Ronald J. Riley <rjriley@RJRILEY.COM>

> I have a number of neat TV exposť show contacts.  I would like a show of
> hands on who feels we should collectively ask these shows to look into
Mr. Berger's activities. I will contact Mr. Nader, asking for his support.
> Specifically, if there is a legal way to do so, I believe that as a group we
> should ask TV and radio stations to stop accepting these companies ads.
If that is not feasible we should ask those media outlets to run public service
> announcements detailing the characteristics of fraudulent invention > promoters.

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  -----Original Message-----
From: Donald Bergquist <
Date: Saturday, November 07, 1998 2:12 PM

TO:          Martin S. Berger, President, Invention Submission Corporation
                Inventors Meeting Place --

DATE:    November 5, 1998

RE:         Your e-mail memo of November 4, 1998 via "connie@IX.NETCOM.COM"

Okay, Mr. Berger, I hereby RETRACT any false and misleading information about
you and ISC that was included in a listserver posting that you say was made on
July 27, 1998. I have no power to remove the information if someone else has
stored it and used it, but I am posting this retraction in the same manner I
posted the original.

Specifically, you said that I stated:

"The Listerine Case is thrown up by Martin Berger, of ISC, as an example
to tell his prospective scam victims that they do not need to seek
patent protection or see a patent professional."

I retract anything therein that is false and misleading. I retract the whole
statement. I call the whole statement "false information." It should not have
been stated in the present tense, as it was.

What I should have said, and what is factual is:
"Some eitht or ten years ago, in a meeting in Columbus, Ohio, arranged by Ron
Docie, of the Ohio Inventors Association, some years ago and shortly after an
INPEX show and arranged in the vain hope of convincing Mr. Berger and ISC that
they could do more to help inventors, a spokesman for Invention Submission
Corporation--specifically, either Mr. Martin S. Berger or his attorney (who,
incidentally, did most of the talking for Mr. Berger and ISC)--was asked why
ISC *at that time* encouraged their clients to make disclosure of their
invention to a mailing list of companies that was supplied by Invention
Submission Corporation without encouraging the client to first see a patent
professional regarding preserving rights to any patentable invention they may
have. [At that time, ISC *did not offer any patent services* other than a
preliminary patent search that was part of their first step.] In response, the
ISC spokesman made direct reference to the 'Listerine Case' as an example to
show that patent protection was not required. By extension, patent protection
was not necessary in the general case. (I have since discerned that this case
was a trade secret case in which the trade secret formula became known
throughout Europe, but U.S. judges found that payments must continue to the
developer under the contract under which the product was made and sold in the
U.S. I believe no patent was never sought for the Listerine product. Most
inventions do not fall into the category in which a trade secret can be
maintained.) *I believe* this reference was made to deflect the question by
the use of extraneous material. *I believe* this reference is likely an
effective smoke screen to convince those who I consider to be naive
(inexperienced) inventors who would likely fall for someone trying to scam
them, not that ISC would intentionally do that, of course. *I believe* that,
used in this manner, this smoke screen is one that would be used only by
someone trying to misdirect and thereby scam the inventor, not that ISC would
intentionally do that, of course.
It should be noted that the above-referenced meeting took place some years
*before* the Federal Trade Commission charged ISC with misrepresentation and
before ISC signed a resulting 1993 consent decree with the United States
District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania that includes the
strict federal rules under which ISC purports to operate now." [Civil Action
No. 93- 616; Judge Bloch; Judgement was entered "in favor of plaintiff, the
Federal Trade Commission, and against defendants, Invention Submission
Corporation, Western Invention Submission Corporation, Intromark Incorporated,
Technosystems Consolidated Corporation, and Martin S. Berger, under the terms
and conditions set forth herein, . . . ."]

You can readily see why I abbreviated the message in my original posting, as
the full story becomes rather extensive, so I had made it much more succinct,
resulting in "false information." I am sorry I was so brief.

Your public complaint appears to have stirred up more interest and greater
dissemination of the "false information" and your reaction to it than was
created by my original message. Please do not think that *I* had anything to
do with any broader distribution of the "false information" than was given my
original message. Indeed, much of that was done *before* I even read your

Whereas I have a copy of the consent decree signed by you on 10/27/93, I have
posted it on a web site so others may read it. The web site carries my name,
not my secretary's name. The Patent and Trademark Office had made the decree
available to anyone who requested it, so I will break no copyright laws nor
privacy laws. Then savvy inventors will know what they should be receiving
from your company "during each initial contact with all prospective clients,
and with each research, development, marketing, service, or other client serv
ice agreement contract (however denominated)." See

It is interesting that consumer redress in the amount of $1.2 million (a
pittance in ISC's books) was paid by the several defendants as a result of
this consent decree, yet you say, "No one has been harmed by ISC."  Then the
other defendants must have done the harm to require redress. You, Mr. Berger,
are specifically named as one of the other defendants--the only individual so

The consent decree includes the proscription in Paragraph 16 against
"Representing, directly or by implication, that ideas or inventions that are
not or cannot be patented can still be successfully marketed or licensed for
financial gain, and/or recommending that clients purchase defendants' services
to promote, market, or license their unpatented ideas or products, unless
defendants affirmatively disclose to clients that manufacturers or other
business organizations may be unwilling to enter into licensing agreements
for, or agree to pay for the right to commercialize, such unpatentable ideas
or products." The FTC must have believed you had been doing these things;
otherwise, why should such a proscription appear in the consent decree?

Maybe part of the problem that *I believe* exists lies in the fact that those
things that you call "corporate policy" are not strictly followed by your
sales staff. That's a matter of internal control. I haven't heard from anyone
dealing with your organization that did not have the salesman tell them how
wonderful their invention was and how they should move on it quickly. They
often took the paperwork in to their supervisor, and came back reporting how
much the boss liked the idea. I recite this scenario to people who call me and
they ask, "Were you with us in the room?" You have said (in Columbus) that a
salesman's expressing any opinion of the quality of any invention brought to
them is strictly against corporate policy. Perhaps you should send some
"shoppers" to your own sales offices to see for yourself what is being done to
attract business. If the practices are against corporate policy, nip them in
the bud at the grass roots level. Maybe it's your salesmen that may  have
given ISC a bad name. *I believe* that ISC does, indeed, have a bad name among
informed inventors.

As to someone *having* "sufficient evidence to create a class action suit," I
don't know that I specifically said that, but if I did, I retract it now. I do
believe that someone is collecting evidence and believes ISC is a good target
for a class action suit, based upon the reports thus far collected. Time will
tell whether such a suit is pursued and whether ISC will prevail

Again, I apologize most profusely for and I retract any false or misleading
statement I have made about ISC, any of it's divisions or subsidiaries, and
about you, Mr. Berger.

Donald A. Bergquist

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 Return to the threat - Responses to ISC's Mr. Martin Berger's Threats

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Ronald J. Riley
1323 West Cook Road
Grand Blanc, MI 48439

Phone (810) 655-8830
Fax (810) 655-8832

Home Page:

$10,000 to $20,000 Wasted money

Source FTC-93