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Have a great idea for an invention? We have all seen those commercials on television where businesses are ready to assist inventors in making millions of dollars for their new widget ideas. Probably as many as 90% of these inventor business services are questionable and usually misleading. It is not uncommon for some of these businesses to charge independent inventors thousands of dollars for what they may accomplish on their own at their regional Patent & Trademark Resource Center (PTRC) library for free. YIP supports Patent & Trademark Resource Centers (PTRC) for the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Independent inventors should be careful when dealing with invention promotion firms as some have been challenged by the Federal Trade Commission for misrepresenting inventors by swindling them of their life savings and getting nothing in return except what they could have done on their own via the USPTO website or with the support of their regional PTRC library. See FTC site for more @ https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0184-invention-promotion-firms.
Inventors should use caution when speaking with any third parties. Meanwhile, legitimate inventor organizations exist in the United States to foster independent inventors as they pursue their dream to patent and market their inventions. The United Inventors Association (UIA) offers educational resources and opportunities to the independent inventing community, while encouraging honest and ethical business practices among industry service providers. In Kentucky, the Inventor's Network KY hosts free meetings and workshops for inventors and entrepreneurs. See https://www.kyinventors.org/ for details. For UIA's listing of local inventor associations, SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) offices, and USPTO patent pro bono programs, see https://uiausa.org/resources-map/.
Inventors Digest offers free access to its back issues. The US Patent & Trademark Office offers news and upcoming events in its column entitled "Your USPTO." See https://www.inventorsdigest.com/past-issues/ for details.
Meet with YIP for free to gain knowledge to protect your innovative works with patents, trade secrets, trademarks, licensing, and copyrights. Learn how to perform your own patent search or trademark search. Learn when and how to obtain permission of others' intellectual properties. YIP teaches you how to locate business and intellectual property resources to support your intellectual property or business strategy. This YIP site provides information related to patents, trademarks, and copyrights, as well as other business research. For more about IP related to businesses see the International Trade Association guide by the US Department of Commerce for Protecting Your Intellectual Property.
Need to compare copyrights, trademarks, and patents? Then see Types of IP Rights section for a detailed chart which provides an overview of IPs by type and legal highlights. Need to assess or audit your intellectual property? Then see IP Awareness Assessment at the USPTO. Email YIP for more.