Avoid Invention Submission Letter Scams

by Tara

I wanted to share with you a letter I received yesterday which you can see below. Companies like this prey on inventors desperate to get their ideas to market. I am not sure how well you will be able to read the letter, so I will explain a little more in this post.

inventor submission letter

Essentially it is a Toy and Game Licensing Company who are supposedly contacting me as, I quote:

“We are please to advise you that through XXXXXXX research department we have been aware of your set of toys, and think it might be something we would like to look at further in relation to our retail/licensing of new games to companies who we deal with in the UK and around the World”

I have removed the company name for obvious reasons. They go on to say they have loads of contacts, suggest setting up a meeting – blah blah blah. They also included a submission form asking me to send details of the idea to them.

Strange that they can’t actually say what the toy idea they are interested in is, isn’t it? My immediate thoughts was that they had seen some of the ideas on my blog and thought they would try and see if they could extract money from me for services, so I decided to play along and drop them an email on the address they provided.

My first email to the invention submission company

email 1 to invention submission company

Their response

They fail to provide names of actual toys and games that they have successfully licensed.

invention submission reply1

My second email to the invention submission company

I ask which of my ideas they are interested in – knowing that they probably have no idea.

invention submission email 2

Their response

invention email 4

From this I can work out that they actually haven’t been looking at my blog and have been searching the UK patent website and have found a design registration of mine. They are so vague, you can tell how interested they are ;)

“We are interested in looking at the set of toys, from what I have here its 4 dolls/characters with funny shaped hair, looks interesting.”

Notice how they are saying there will be a fee to pay, if they are so kind as to take me on!!!! (please note this is sarcasm)

My third email to the invention submission company

I decide to call it a day with the emailing

Their Response

Dan is still determined and gives it one last shot. This time saying they don’t charge upfront fees. What they are saying by this is there is no fee to go and meet them, beyond this there will be fees.

Don’t get sucked in by these scams

If a company was that interested in your idea and had approached you regarding it out of the blue (which in itself is quite unlikely) they should be prepared to work on a commission only basis. This company is essentially offering product design and marketing services in an underhand way. I have no idea if the quality of their work is good or not, but would you really trust someone who approaches you like this?

 

 

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

David August 1, 2012 at 12:35 pm

Well played! Thanks for sharing!

Reply

Mark August 2, 2012 at 5:03 am

Great learnings here Tara. Thank you for teasing it out.

I found I acquired ‘new friends’ when I submitted my first patent, and received a very similar approach from a couple of companies offering to help. It really helped to have some knowledge of the product/inventing field at the time as I was able to the scam straight away.

Inventing is an emotional thing and it can be very encouraging to hear from someone who appears positive about your idea, particularly in the early stages. But I found I had to balance the emotional and intellectual otherwise I would have spend 10s of 1000s on aimless ‘research’ etc and not progressed anywhere.

Reply

Tara August 2, 2012 at 7:54 am

Thanks Mark and David

Reply

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