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She Got Scammed

Nov 10, 2022

Inventors pay $10k-$30k to invent companies and other predatory professionals but they receive very little in return.  Most importantly they are often given bad advice on intellectual property and are encouraged to take steps that are financially beneficial to the invent company and not the inventor. The inventor does not learn this until it is too late. 

 Michelle was excited to tell us about the intellectual property she received as a result of the invention company she previously worked with. After our team of intellectual property attorneys at ICW looked over her case they let her know that the invent company sold her a design patent and not a utility patent. A design patent is a cheaper version of intellectual property but is also the lesser of the two patents to file for as an independent inventor. Why? A design patent does not cover any changes made to the product. A design patent is exactly what it is. Think of the shape of a square, it cannot be changed in any way because it is a square. However, a box can be a few different shapes because there are many different boxes that are many different shapes and sizes. After the intellectual property legal team reviewed her invention they realized there was something similar out there to her product that had a utility patent. She was immediately at a disadvantage because she was given bad advice from the start. It costs the invention company less money to file a design patent vs. a utility patent and the invent company only has themselves in mind, not the inventor. Filing a design patent leaves the inventor at a disadvantage while a utility patent allows the inventor to invent the product a few different ways in the application which is why it is always best to have a patent attorney do the filing. An experienced patent attorney will reinvent your product in a few different ways to ensure the inventor gets the patent. Michelle had never spoken to her patent attorney. She assumed the invent company handled all of it on her behalf.  The biggest mistake inventors can make is to allow someone else to take charge of their business. The invention company did not have her best interest in mind. The patent attorney considered the invention company the client and did not even know Michelle. Unfortunately, this is the norm when dealing with these types of companies. An even tougher pill to swallow is that she paid the company $!5,000 and only received a digital prototype and a design patent. A design patent typically costs around $5k-$6k when filing directly with an attorney and a utility patent is $10k.