No. 740



If you are an inventor or “would-be” inventor searching for a way to get your product or invention on the market, I may have some help for you. Granted, this topic will not be of interest or appeal for many of my readers, but you may know someone who fits this description and may have a need for this service. I have also found that a lot of information that I didn’t think I needed came in very handy down the road.
Over the past several years, I have received a number of press releases and sample products, from a company called InventHelp, located in Pittsburg. Started in 1984, this is no small company, as they employ about 200 people at the company’s headquarters.
InventHelp is a licensing and marketing company in the business of assisting companies, inventors and entrepreneurs in their attempts to introduce and market new products and inventions. From a practical standpoint, if you would like to know what a service like this means to you, just walk down the aisle in Wal-Mart, Target, Sears, and any number of other large retailers and look at all the various products on the shelf. In most cases, if there is sufficient need for a certain product, in every industry, someone has already come up with an idea for the product, applied for a trademark, produced it, and there it is, ready for purchase.
Most of us just take this for granted, but you may rest assured there was a long process involved before the product ever made it to the marketplace. What this company does is submit various products and ideas to industry in the hope of gaining a good-faith review.
InventHelp’s efforts fall into these basic areas: 1. Preparation of materials that describe and illustrate the client’s inventions. 2. Patent Referral Services that include a preliminary U.S. patentability search and opinion. If there is sufficient interest, the company can prepare and submit a U.S. patent application. 3. Attempt to submit, once the client approves the materials. At this point the company attempts to submit them to companies interested in reviewing new product ideas. 4. Follow up if interest is expressed and the company attempts to negotiate a license agreement or sale of the invention. It should be noted that only a small number of clients receive a license or any financial gains. It really comes down to the survival of the fittest, as only the very best products ever become mass produced, and that’s where the money is.
Here are the numbers. From 2005-2007, InventHelp signed agreements with 5,959 clients. As a result of services provided, 98 clients have received license agreements for their products and 20 clients have received more money than they paid InventHelp for their services.
At this point some would say, “Why would an inventor choose to work with InventHelp?” Here is what they say; you be your own judge. InventHelp has a stated policy of honesty toward its customers; a strong sense of consumer fairness, as reflected in their mission statement and core values; an approach that is straightforward and does not mislead and misinform; and a strong set of business ethics and a compliance department to ensure company compliance with regulations, laws and company policy. The company also sponsors INPEX, the Invention/New Product Exposition, an annual trade show for inventors.
Well, there you have it. With all the cards on the table, if you would like to contact this company visit their Web site or call 1-412-288-1300.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a public speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034. To begin a bookcase literacy project visit You won’t go wrong helping a needy child.)