Legitimate companies that are looking for innovative invention ideas do exist . Finding those companies, avoiding scams, applying for patents and commercializing your invention, though, can be overwhelming for both novice and experienced inventors alike. Locating the right information about manufacturers and corporations, promotional companies and invention marketplaces can help you to navigate the process of seeing your invention reach the marketplace.
Some established corporations look for outside inventions for consumer products and other product lines. For example, the Dial Corporation, a subsidiary of the Henkel Group/Germany, actively looks for published patent ideas in the three business areas of Laundry and Home Care, Cosmetics and Toiletries, and Adhesive Technologies. The company also oversees the Henkel Innovation Partnership Program, which accepts submissions from independent inventors and technology providers. Other companies that accept submissions of invention ideas include the National Presto Industries, Inc., the Lisle Corporation, Garden Weasel, HogWild Toys and 3M. Many of these companies list idea submission guidelines for inventors on their corporate websites.
However, finding a company that will manufacture your idea can be a daunting process. A number of companies offer to promote your invention ideas to potential manufacturers and corporations. They also often promise to help you to develop and patent your invention. Some of these companies are legitimate, but many are not. Often fraudulent patent and invention promotion firms require large advance fees for everything from research to marketing and promotion. Legitimate licensing agents will depend on royalties from successful inventions. Reputable agents will be more selective about the inventions with which they work, and as a result they will reject more ideas than they accept.
Invention marketplaces are an option for inventors looking for companies to license, create and market their inventions and ideas. An invention marketplace is usually an online community that seeks to connect inventors with companies and entrepreneurs. Three well-known marketplaces are InventionHome.com, IdeaBuyer.com and BigIdeaGroup.com, all of which were launched during the 2000s. These organizations offer online platforms for those with an invention as well as those looking for intellectual property to commercialize. Whether you are considering companies that are looking for invention ideas or invention marketplaces, you should research them through the Better Business Bureau to ensure legitimacy.
Commercializing your invention or idea can be an exciting but risky process. As an inventor, you should always conduct thorough research regarding any companies with which you are considering working, from manufacturers and corporations to promotional companies and invention marketplaces. Investigate intellectual property laws, so that you know your rights and responsibilities as an inventor. Connect with other inventors through organizations such as The United Inventors Association, The Inventors Network, the National Congress of Inventor Organizations, Intellectual Property Owners Association and the International Federation of Inventor Associations.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office, through their Investor Resources website, provides extensive information for inventors, covering everything from how to apply for a patent to how to avoid patent scams. Many scams target novice inventors. Educating yourself and connecting with the right resources and organizations can help you to avoid being scammed and to know what to do if it does happen. You can avoid potential scams by investigating companies through the Better Business Bureau and the National Inventors Fraud Center, which keeps a current list of reputable and fraudulent organizations.
Christine Switzer has been a freelance writer since 2007. She contributes to travel and regional periodicals such as "Georgetown View" and "Burlington the Beautiful" and she enjoys writing on travel, lifestyle and the workplace. Switzer holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and a Master of Arts in English and has taught university courses in communication, public speaking and journalism.