Patent Vultures End Goal

Vultures in the Patent World

You have seen them - industries that feed on the success or misfortune of others.  "Ambulance Chasers" are probably the most famous, but it is also in the patent world. On the benign side, there are people who want to sell you a placard or certificate commemorating your achievement.  On the caustic side, there are people who want a piece of what you have accomplished - perhaps in false enticement they can even get you to sign away your patent rights.  While all sound enticing, these are patent vultures circling.  BEWARE!

They are actually all around in the patent world.

Nearly every time a new patent issues for me, a swarm of vultures swoop in with offers "I can't refuse".  They make it sound so wonderful with one of many siren songs of false enticement:

  • "You deserve recognition for your achievement."
  • Or worse, "Let us fund your patent to market."
  • Or, "We'll get you a license contract and you'll be on the road to riches!"

See the patent vultures circling?  It is just part of participating in the patent world.

Patent Vultures Award

Of course, it is not my intention in any way to disparage inventors.  We love inventors.  Receiving a patent is a great accomplishment and I'd like to be the first to say "Congratulations!"  And, welcome to the patent world.

This article is not about inventors, but about the patent vultures who follow them.  The info here is a warning to consider carefully before signing up with an offer.  In the patent world, they don't follow the patent award trail just to give you kudos.

Since it is fresh, I'll share a few that came along after our most recent patent award.


Of course, you just received notice that a patent is granted for your work.  It is a time to celebrate!  You are in high spirits, then a letter comes stating how you deserve recognition for the occasion.  "This is a notable achievement; and we'd like to help you commemorate it" it says.

Certainly a plaque makes a nice memento as an acknowledgement of your success.

Patent World Congratulations

I have to admit, the awards they offer do look nice, but they are expensive.  I am not knocking the concept, just giving a warning that these will come looking to extract dollars from your pocket.

As a side note, my wife says me she really wanted to get one of these for me when I got my first patent.  However, it was not long until more patent awards came, and she realized that the trend would probably continue.  Though it is enticing to show the you are part of the patent world, good thing she didn't start that precedent.

Beware Of Patent Vultures! And Their False Enticement

Bogus OffersA framed award is pretty benign, but there are many more offers that are not so simple.  Other offers for "Venture Funding" or "Patents to Market" will likely come.  While these vary in causticness, they all come with hidden hooks and false enticement - from the Patent Vultures.  If it is tempting, then please consider these patent world offers very carefully.

Please, make sure you know what they REALLY want.  They will dance around questions all day, because that is what shysters do, so if you feel at all off, turn tail and run.

These two images below show parts of letters that came from patent world vultures looking for a piece of the pie.  They are fun to read, and it is fun to imagine if they were really telling the truth, but I guarantee they have an angle, with a hook.  They don't go fishing for nothing.  They have a ton of experience with false enticement and with scamming inventors out of their money.  Be so careful.

The Phone Call

The caller was a nice lady who congratulated me on the patent and said she knew the product would be a success.  The purpose of the call is to schedule an appointment to discuss the details of the patent and license agreements with her boss.  She made it sound like they wanted to make a license agreement and develop the product.  I asked if she knew me, or anything about me.  She admitted she did not.

I decided to play along to see their angle.  I made the appointment, and suggested her boss do a little background checking prior to the call.

A couple days later, the call came from the boss.  He was also nice as he explained how they find great inventions, then help inventors get license agreements.  He was sure they could secure an agreement and I would be on the road to riches.  Just sit back and let them make me rich.  ** Sounds so great, doesn't it! **  This is the false enticement of the patent world.

Patent Vultures At Their FinestI asked a lot about his company, what they do, and who they work with.  Sounds like they do a little bit of product development, but mostly they just secure leads and find other companies to complete the project.  Sounds like they seek potential licensees and take a big cut of the royalties.  Interestingly, when I asked if he knew me, or anything about other patents I have, he said "no".  I thought "Man, do your homework!"

After needling a little more so I understood how they work (he was very slippery with his answers), I mentioned my company, Synthesis Engineering Services.  Told him he should have looked up my name in a patent search.  Needless to say, the call ended soon after mentioning Synthesis.

How To Profit From A Patent?

So you come up with a really wonderful idea.  The natural thing is to prototype with it some, and prove to yourself that the idea really is great.  The next step for many people is submitting for a patent.  Truly, the aura of owning a patent has a nice appeal, and we all know stories of folks who get rich with patents.  Mostly, we want to protect our idea from others.  That is all perfectly natural.

The Patent Vultures understand full well the dilemma that faces most new patent holders.  How do you profit from the patent?  Now that you have a patent, how do you make money with it?  In the patent world this is a big dilemma that most inventors face.

And, it is much harder than most inventors think.  "If you build it they will come" rarely works.

Yes, the first step is the idea, and some work with it, but Product Development is not as easy as it might seem.  Making it work perfect in (almost) any situation is effort.  Making it manufacturable, and making it fit the cost targets - all while being durable and wonderful is work.  Finding manufacturers and all that goes into distribution is often far more time consuming and expensive than inventors imagine.

By the time the patent actually issues, most inventors have come face to face with these realities and don't know where to turn.

So, the patent vultures swoop in disguised as white knights ready to bring you the cash.  The problem is, they first want your cash, OR they want rights to your patent.  Or, perhaps a different angle.  Either way, they know the patent world, and how to ask the leading questions.  They also fully understand your lack of familiarity, and they feed on your desire to have the patent turn a profit.  Patent vultures know exactly what they are doing.

Patent World Vultures End Goal

False enticement is their net.  Please don't get caught in it.

Facing Reality In The Patent World

Over the years, I've met dozens of inventors that tell their own version of this story:  They signed up with a Patent Vulture company that promised them the world.  After many payments and disappointments, they ran out of money.  Or the company dumped them because "they didn't really have a good product".  Or, the company copied their invention with some modifications and began selling it.  There are others.

In all of these, the patent holder is left with nothing.  Unfortunately that is all too common in the patent world.  I have only actually heard of one success story where the inventor felt they had been treated fairly.

At Synthesis we have picked up the pieces on many such debacles.  It makes me sad each time.

To be clear, Synthesis does not actively look for inventors.  We do Product Design and Development which sometimes includes working with inventors, but we do not ask for ownership in your patent.  We also do not help you find investors or license agreements.  Our forte is Engineering, not marketing or licensing.  We also do not buy patents or rights or licenses.  That is not our business.

Avoid the Patent World Vultures, and Press Forward

If you are an inventor, we suggest you first look through our Inventors Lab (several pages).  It is there for you.  It is not a sales pitch - but good advice from a lot of experience.  If it seems simplistic, then read it again.

We don't like seeing people taken advantage of.  That is especially true of inventors - because we are one.  Just avoid the patent vultures and you will be a lot better off.  If you really want help with the product or licensing, seek them out yourself - and look really hard to find the real deal good guys.  They are out there, but be super careful.

We Wish You The Best Of Luck With Your New Patent!

2 comments on “Vultures in the Patent World”

  1. Interesting..I did read some not so encouraging things about USPTO. ALL these things you mentioned are exactly why I contacted you specifically. I have BIG worries about such things.

    I'll differ with you on Mandela 😊..for reasons.
    Most dont know numerous background things just like all well controlled media...what you see is only a 'world polished' illusion in numerous cases. Its usually that way worldwide.

    Im surprised your site has political views to extents...but that interests me too. As a browny guy I tend to find black/white flare-ups too 'staged'. Its actually become tedious and counter-sanity.

    Ill prefer to see your mechanical expertise at work since you did major things. Im hopeful since you display all this true advice.

    Tomorrow's are always interesting.

    1. Thanks for the comments. I have gone down the path with patents many times, but I'm certainly not the expert. I hope some simple tips from my experience can help someone along the way.

      I'm not sure how encouraging people to "be nice" - even in the midst of turmoil - is political. I strongly support treating all people with respect and dignity, and I don't assume anyone is perfect. Especially me. That said, it's so much easier to make lasting change when we approach the problem with kindness and respect. Humankind, be both.

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