Back about two weeks ago I noted that Invention Promotion Firms have received criticism from the U.S. federal government and from various trade groups for allegedly misleading consumers. Yesterday, PHOSITA ran a similar and excellent posting on their blog, which you can view here.
Douglas Sorocco of PHOSITA notes that Invention promotion companies are the bane of inventors and legitimate intellectual property practitioners alike; something to which I can relate. I too have had a number of occasions where I had to inform inventors that they have spent $10,000+ on something of little or no value. PHOSITA’s posting goes on to note a recent article in the Alabama Register which is critical of one particular such company.
Unfortunately, a number of these U.S. and foreign based companies target Canadians as well. The cross-border issue tends to really complicate things for us Canadians, especially when trying to obtain refunds and the like from a foreign company.
In my previous posting I noted that the Canadian patent office has no complaints website (unlike the US office) and little, if any, information on invention promotion firms is available at CIPO. A bit of further digging around the government websites and Google resulted in finding a general warning issued by the Competition Bureau of Canada and this interesting article on CTV’s W-Five called Inventor Beware.