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Review Of InventNet.com

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InventNet WAS for many years the best and most active inventor forum.  There were many great people on the forum,

BUT ................

Since early 1999 the forum's quality has deteriorated to the point that from January of 2000 through early 2001 I stopped referring most new inventors to the forum and instead started directly referring inventors to a number of other resources for help. 

The reason is that InventNet has been taken hostage by a few not so reputable "Agents".  I am not talking about patent "agents", who have great track records, but rather agents who want to sell inventor's ideas.

Not all the "agents" admit to being "agents". But they still have an "agent" M.O.

Basically these agents are trying to dominate the forum to generate business for themselves, driving many reputable people away.  These agents approach has been to make massive numbers of posts and to put down many of the real experts with posts which are often polite-but really nasty, much like an adversarial attorney may put down an inventor when trying to justify why their client should take the inventor's work without compensation.

The end result, both because of excessive list traffic, and because of attacks from the "agent" types, is that many of the most experienced and honest advisors have deserted the forum.

These "agents" do not directly advertise, rather they have a big presence on the forum, waiting for an inventor to nibble at the bait.  The key to their approach is that they get the inventor to offer themselves up for slaughter.

They often gain trust by offering to help the inventor for nothing, but eventually get around to payment in some form, either monetary or for a piece of the action.

They then set the hook, reeling the inventor in.  I have received complaints from inventors who have lost from less than a $1000 to in excess of $20,000.  I and other inventor advocates do bring these complaints to law enforcement's attention.  But this rarely gets the inventor's money back, and it often takes the authorities years to investigate and prosecute these slime bags.  In addition, more than one agent has either violated their fiduciary duty to inventors or indicated that they see such as acceptable. Yet another scam the agents run on inventors is an attempt to be made either co-inventor or co-owner. 

Exercise caution (www.InventorEd.org/caution/ for a list of questionable service providers) in who you do business with.  And for a list of service providers who have no unresolved complaints and who have expressed interest in working with independent inventors see www.InventorEd.org/service/.

In addition to the problem of InventNet being a haven for sharks is the problem that the list owner, Vic Lavrov has a habit of selectively censoring posts. I.e., he does not evenly censor by ending specific discussions but rather by allowing one side to continue to have their say while just censoring those he disagrees with.

Conclusion: I recommend that new inventors not use this forum since it has become little more than a sales tool for some very questionable characters and the list owner routinely censors people based on personal whim and not clearly stated policy. For those who still want to subscribe to InventNet the links are:

InventNET Archives  - vic@InventNET.com, Inventors Listserver  

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