Anatomy of an Invention Scam - Part 1
This is a 4 part series providing valuable information every inventor should know about invention scams. This week in Part 1, I will define what the scam really is. Is it really to rip-off your patent, new product idea or technology?
What is the Scam?
You could not create a better scenario for a scam than you have in the invention business. The real scam is the inventor's attitude, fueled by misleading information. Consider these assumptions.
Assumption Number One
Arguably, 999 of every 1,000 inventions never make it from idea stage to the marketplace. This figure certainly could be off by a factor of 10 in one direction or the other depending on how far an idea has advanced before you start counting it, and your definition of what makes a successful invention, i.e. just to make it to the market, to make more money that what was invested in it, to turn a profit for the company, etc.
The US Patent and Trademark office at one point published that 1% or 2% of issued patents ever become a product. Anyway you shake it, the odds are extremely high for any inventor to make a commercially successful product.
Assumption Number Two
From my experience, 999 of every 1,000 inventors think that their invention is the 1 in 1000 that will be successful. This is a good example of why you can put the most frightening disclosure on your brochure about how risky the invention business is, and the customers just keep on coming because they know deep inside that they are not part of the majority at risk.
If you believe these two assumptions are actually facts, you can better understand how this makes it ripe for a scam. A scam company doesn't even have to 'scam' their customers; their customers have already scammed themselves before ever considering the purchase of a service.
Therefore, scam companies need only present a smorgasbord of products and services that the inventors already think that they need, based on all the erroneous information already floating around the marketplace, and viola, they can even make enough money to advertise their toll free number on late night television.
So, if I want to make money from inventors, then all I need to do is take as much of the first dollars coming from the inventor BEFORE they ever figure out that they are part of the 999 in 1000, not the 1 in 1000.
It is ironic that many inventors think that the rip-off comes from companies that want to steal their invention. Tell me something, why would I attempt to steal an invention and deal with a 1 in 1000 statistic to be successful, when I can take $5,000 to $20,000 from the inventor all day long and do that 999 times, instead? So you see, the scam is essentially from inventors feeling perfectly justified in investing great amounts of money for products and services to help them with their invention project, when they have absolutely no idea which of the products or services they really need, and when.
Next week, we’ll look at who exactly is waiting in the wings to take advantage of this situation.
Ron Docie, Sr. is President of Docie Marketing and Docie Development. He is the author of The Inventor's Bible, How to Market and License Your Brilliant Ideas, and has successfully commercialized new products and technology for himself and his inventor clients for over three decades.