Multiple class action lawsuits claim InventHelp dangles the prospect of riches, pressures inventors into expensive contracts, then fails to deliver the promised services to market inventors’ products through a proprietary “Data Bank” of participating companies. According to the lawsuits, InventHelp took millions of dollars from inventors, who got virtually nothing in return.

Attorney Julie Pechersky Plitt said: “I would say this is fraud, pure and simple from start to finish. False promises, false companies, false licensing agreement. Everything about it is fraudulent.

Brian Antonelli is one of several hundred class plaintiffs in the InventHelp lawsuits. As a kid, he helped his mother make her signature Italian wedding soup. When she was dying, he promised her he would market the soup with her name and image on the label.

Antonelli contacted InventHelp, which offers would-be inventors help finding companies to develop and sell their products. Soon after convincing him to take out a $10,000 loan to pay for their services, Antonelli says InventHelp disappeared, stopped returning phone calls, and never shopped his soup to prospective companies. Today, he’s in debt and his credit is ruined because he stopped payment on the loan. But his biggest regret is that it stopped him from fulfilling his promise to his mom.

Another class plaintiff, Sean Giliberti, says the InventHelp representative he spoke with was very enthusiastic about his liquid therapy lamp. He paid InventHelp $12,000 to market the lamp through its proprietary “Data Bank” of companies. But when Giliberti decided to check the “Data Bank” for himself, he found that several of the companies listed didn’t exist. And the companies he was able to contact had never heard of InventHelp.

Class plaintiff Sherry Porter contacted InventHelp after she saw their caveman ad. When she met with an InventHelp official, they were enthusiastic about her idea for a pet collar with an LED light that went all the way around.

Porter paid InventHelp $9,000 to market her invention to numerous companies. But when she followed up with those companies, they informed her that her product idea had already been on the market for years. Porter was later contacted by an InventHelp official who claimed that a company was interested in licensing her invention. But when her attorney investigated, it turned out this company didn’t exist. Porter eventually received a $500 check from another company affiliated with InventHelp.

We believe that this $500 was a ruse in order to suck her into spending even more money with InventHelp,” Attorney Plitt said.


inventhelp class action lawsuit

Deceptive and Fraudulent Invention Promotion Scam Bilked Aspiring Inventors

“This class action arises out of a deceptive and fraudulent invention promotion scam that has bilked thousands of aspiring inventors and entrepreneurs into paying millions of dollars to [InventHelp et al] for invention promotion services that [InventHelp et al] do not, and never intend to, provide.”

(See Zanotti v. InventHelp – Page 1)

“[InventHelp]’s ubiquitous television and internet commercials, featuring a cartoon image of a caveman sitting on a rock, banging a wheel with a chisel, promise consumers that InventHelp has contracts with thousands of companies that are looking for new ideas.

In truth and in fact, InventHelp is not in the business of helping aspiring inventors develop and monetize their inventions. Rather, InventHelp is in the business of taking consumers’ money with fraudulent promises and oftentimes phony “companies looking for new ideas.”

(See Calhoun v. InventHelp – Page 2)


Web of Entities Act in Concert to Convince Inventors Their Ideas are Patentable and Profitable

“[InventHelp et al]’s multi-tiered conspiracy preys upon aspiring inventors’ high hopes and dreams. It is cleverly constructed to avoid liability and monetary judgment by employing an intricate web of seemingly independent entities – invention promotion companies, private money lenders, patent attorneys, licensing and distribution companies, and manufacturing companies – that act in concert to defraud Class Plaintiffs.”

(See Calhoun v. InventHelp – Page 3)

“Whilst InventHelp and the other named Defendants hold themselves out to be independent companies, they are one and the same, and are parts of an integrated fraudulent enterprise.”

(See Calhoun v. InventHelp – Page 2)

“The existence of the “enterprise” is necessary in order for Defendants to carry out their common purpose, as they need the assistance of each other to convince the inventor that his/her idea is patentable and profitable, with full knowledge that the invention would not receive a utility patent and would not be profitable.”

(See Zanotti v. InventHelp – Page 24)


InventHelp Pays to Erase Bad Reviews Online

“[InventHelp et al] also use nefarious means to censor, block and/or mask negative reviews of InventHelp, thereby preventing consumers from seeing what really happens to those who sign up for their services.”

(See Miclaus v. InventHelp – Page 9)

“In order to obstruct consumers’ view of the hundreds of negative reviews of InventHelp, [InventHelp et al] employ sophisticated mechanisms to redirect consumers searching for objective reviews to InventHelp’s own website to false and fraudulent glowing reviews.

InventHelp pays sophisticated “reputation management professionals” to erase bad reviews online, falsely representing to website administrators that certain bad reviews have been ruled defamatory by court orders, when, in fact, the purported court orders relating to those reviews are nonexistent.”

(See Miclaus v. InventHelp – Page 15)


Report and Patentability Opinion First Step in Scheme to Trick Inventors into Signing Expensive Submission Services Agreements

“After luring Class Plaintiffs in with slick television and internet advertising, [InventHelp et al] assure each and every consumer who inquires of their services that Plaintiffs’ ideas are unique, patentable, and carry terrific potential for immense profit.”

(See Zanotti v. InventHelp – Page 2)

“Customers who sign up for the first, less expensive step of InventHelp’s services receive a hard-bound InventHelp “Report” and a “Preliminary Patentability Opinion.” Both documents are purposefully obtuse, contain omissions and misrepresentations, and serve as InventHelp’s crucial first step in its scheme to trick inventors into second meetings.”

(See Miclaus v. InventHelp – Page 3)

“Although purporting to be an end in itself, in truth and in fact the Basic Information Package and Preliminary Patentability Opinion are part of [InventHelp et al]’s ploy to convince consumers that their inventions are marketable and/or patentable, and con them into signing contracts for the more expensive Submission Services.”

(See Miclaus v. InventHelp – Page 19)

Attorneys Conducted Incomplete Patent Searches, Then Signed Boilerplate Patentability Opinions

“[InventHelp et al]’s “Preliminary Patentability Opinions,” opine that customers’ proposed inventions are eligible to receive design or utility patents, when, in fact, there often already exist “dead ringer” patents that preclude patents for these inventions.”

(See Miclaus v. InventHelp – Page 4)

“The Attorney Defendants conducted incomplete patent searches, advised Class Plaintiffs to apply for patents even though Attorney Defendants were aware that Class Plaintiffs’ ideas were not suitable for patents for various reasons. Attorney Frost rarely spoke or met with consumers to discuss their proposed inventions, instead signing boilerplate ‘Patentability Opinions.’”

(See Miclaus v. InventHelp – Page 54)

“Defendant Frost had first-hand knowledge of hundreds of customers referred by InventHelp that were informed by Defendant Frost’s Preliminary Patentability Opinions that their inventions were eligible to receive patents, but in fact did not receive patents and complained that InventHelp is a fraud.”

(See Miclaus v. InventHelp – Page 20)


Submission Services Fees Between $5,000 – $10,000, Then Disappearing and Dodging Calls As Soon As Money in Hand

“[InventHelp et al]’s representatives employ high pressure tactics to push Class Plaintiffs to hand over tens of thousands of dollars and sign fraudulent contracts, falsely representing that if Class Plaintiffs sign immediately (without time to properly review the contracts) they will receive substantial discounts pursuant to “specials” that are about to expire, that Class Plaintiffs’ proposed inventions are one-of-a-kind and/or carry terrific potential for profit, and that Class Plaintiffs likely stand to make ‘millions’ or ‘billions’ if they engage [InventHelp et al]’s services.”

(See Miclaus v. InventHelp – Page 8)

“In exchange for initial fees ranging between $5,000 and $10,000, [InventHelp et al] represent that they will obtain patents and produce models, press releases, and infomercials, among other things, to promote Class Plaintiffs’ inventions.

[InventHelp et al] make off with Class Plaintiff’s money and do little to nothing to fulfill their end of the bargain, stringing Class Plaintiffs along with false promises and boilerplate “analyses” in order to extract more money from them for additional services (which they do not and never intend to provide), and then disappearing and dodging calls as soon as [InventHelp et al] have the money in hand.”

(See Zanotti v. InventHelp – Page 3)

Offered Loans by “Independent Private Money Lender” Operating Under the Identical Ownership as InventHelp

“Then, because Class Plaintiffs often do not have at hand the thousands of dollars ‘necessary’ to make their dreams come true, they are offered generous loans by “independent private money lender” Universal Payment Corporation. This “independent private money lender” is not independent at all – it operates under the same ownership and control as InventHelp.”

(See Calhoun v. InventHelp – Page 4)

“[InventHelp et al] also employ deceptive and fraudulent tactics by using threats, intimidation and harassment to collect debts. In order to induce Class Plaintiffs to sign contracts, [InventHelp et al] represent that if Class Plaintiffs can no longer make payments, then there is “no risk” – the contracts will simply expire with no further performance on either end. However, if and when Class Plaintiffs stop paying, [InventHelp et al] dog Class Plaintiffs, threaten to “destroy” Plaintiffs’ credit, and threaten to put liens on their homes and other personal property.”

(See Miclaus v. InventHelp – Page 9)

InventHelp Disclosure Statement:
Zero out of 63,859 Customers Made More Money Than They Paid

The 2017 Western InventHelp disclosure documents stated: “The total number of customers who have contracted with the Company for invention development services prior to the last thirty (30) days is 63,859. The number of customers that have received, by virtue of this invention developer’s performance, an amount of money in excess of the amount of money paid by the customer to this invention developer is 0.”

(See Miclaus v. InventHelp – Page 17)


InventHelp’s Data Bank of Companies: Keystone of InventHelp’s Services

“InventHelp advertises that it is in the business of submitting to industry the new ideas, inventions or products (“inventions” or “products”) of its inventor clients in exchange for a fee, to obtain a “good faith review” of inventions for the purpose of potential commercialization.”

(See Austin v. InventHelp – Page 2)

“The Data Bank is the keystone of InventHelp’s services and the raison d’etre for purchasing InventHelp’s services.

InventHelp represents that its Data Bank gives it the unique ability to promote clients’ inventions. Each Data Bank company is purported by InventHelp to have registered with InventHelp, identified its areas of interest, and signed a confidentiality and non-use agreement with InventHelp. InventHelp also agrees to make a good faith attempt to match inventions with companies in the Data Bank most likely to be interested in a particular invention.”

(See Austin v. InventHelp – Page 10)

Data Bank Company Lists Sent to All InventHelp Customers Are Shams

“InventHelp represents to prospective and existing clients that it has relationships with certain well-known entities, brands and big-box stores, including K-Mart, Walmart, Bed Bath & Beyond, Lysol, Air Wick, Cabela’s, Elmer’s, Heinz, and Carnegie Mellon University, and that these entities are registered in InventHelp’s “Data Bank.” These representations are false, misleading and contain outright lies.”

(See Miclaus v. InventHelp – Page 3)

“Data Bank company lists sent to all InventHelp customers are shams. Some of the companies do not exist and are purposefully misspelled to resemble actual existing companies that have no relationship with InventHelp (for example, listing the company as ‘Inc.’ instead of ‘LLC’). Other “Data Bank” companies claim to have no relationship with InventHelp, and have not signed any confidentiality agreements, or any agreements whatsoever, with InventHelp.”

(See Calhoun v. InventHelp – Page 20)

“An exhaustive survey of InventHelp’s Data Bank reveals that more than 50% of the companies that InventHelp represents are in its Data Bank in fact have no relationship with InventHelp, have never signed nondisclosure agreements with InventHelp, and/or appear to be nonexistent or defunct companies.”

(See Miclaus v. InventHelp – Page 26)

InventHelp’s Industry “Matches” are Far from Accurate

“InventHelp purports to send its clients’ New Product Submission Brochures to approximately 100 matching companies and promises that a majority of those companies will be Data Bank Companies.

InventHelp’s specific and industry “matches” are far from accurate. Its keyword searches and SIC code searches produce matches to far-flung, unrelated industries. InventHelp then compounds the failure of the matching system to find appropriate matches by failing to screen the lists of companies before sending clients’ New Product Submission Brochures to the claimed matched businesses.”

(See Austin v. InventHelp – Page 11)

“In effect, InventHelp sent Plaintiffs’ New Product Submission Brochures into the ether with no knowledge whether:

  • the submissions would arrive at their intended target;
  • the intended target even operated a legitimate business that would review the submission, or
  • that the intended target was an appropriate match, as represented.

InventHelp’s promises to match inventions to appropriate Data Bank companies is a key component of its Submission Agreements. Plaintiffs and Class members also expected that the Data Bank companies either entered into agreements with InventHelp, or confirmed their agreements recently enough that the consumer can expect an actual review by an existing company with an active interest in reviewing inventions InventHelp submitted to them, not that some of the Data Bank companies agreed to do so at some indefinite time so far in the past, that they no longer have any interest in reviewing InventHelp submissions, or are no longer in a position to review such submissions, either because the they are inactive or non-existent.”

(See Austin v. InventHelp – Page 13)

InventHelp’s Non-Confidential Mailings Risks Patentability, Theft, and Saleability of Inventions

“To the extent InventHelp does send out mass mailings of flyers describing consumers’ inventions, many recipients of the flyers have not signed Non-Disclosure Agreements, have no relationship whatsoever with InventHelp, and/or do not even exist.”

(See Miclaus v. InventHelp – Page 4)

“[InventHelp et al]’s regular practice thus puts Plaintiffs’ ideas in the public realm thereby impacting potential patentability. [InventHelp et al]’s regular practice also risks theft of Plaintiffs’ unpatented ideas [and] also decreases and/or eliminates the salability of Plaintiffs’ inventions because these ideas become public.”

(See Miclaus v. InventHelp – Page 5)

No Infrastructure to Deal with Companies Actually Interested in Inventions

“On the rare occasion that a legitimate company expresses interest in an InventHelp client’s idea, that company has no means of contacting InventHelp other than the 1-800 number advertised on InventHelp’s late-night television commercials. These calls go unreturned.”

(See Miclaus v. InventHelp – Page 7)

“InventHelp has no infrastructure to deal with companies that actually want to proceed with ideas. Rather, InventHelp’s business model is to take consumers’ money with absolutely no intention to follow up with any outside company that may be interested in a prospective inventor’s idea.”

(See Calhoun v. InventHelp – Page 21)


After Months or Years of Silence, Reappear in Guise of Marketing or Manufacturing Companies Scamming More Money

“After months or years of silence, [InventHelp et al] reappear to Class Plaintiffs, sometimes in the guise of distribution, marketing or manufacturing companies, telling them that they’ve discovered Class Plaintiffs’ inventions, that they have purchase orders, licensing agreements, and/or retail distributors at the ready, and that they just need an additional $5,000 – $10,000 in order to make those final arrangements. After scamming more money from Plaintiffs, they disappear without a trace.”

(See Zanotti v. InventHelp – Page 3)

InventHelp Routinely Uses Sham “60-Day License Agreements” to Falsify the Number of Clients who Received License Agreements

“Sometimes, InventHelp reaches out to existing clients, representing that outside companies have discovered their inventions, and that those companies now want to license the products pursuant to “60-day License Agreements.” InventHelp customers sign the paperwork and excitedly wait for their dreams to come true. Inevitably, the sham licensing companies decide against “renewing” the fake 60-day licenses.”

(See Miclaus v. InventHelp – Page 7)

“InventHelp routinely uses sham “60-Day License Agreements” to falsify its AIPA disclosures regarding the number of InventHelp clients who received license agreements by virtue of InventHelp’s services. These are not real license agreements, and the companies on whose behalf they are sent are not real.”

(See Miclaus v. InventHelp – Page 34)


InventHelp’s Enterprise as a Whole is Fraudulent and Poses the Threat of Continued Criminal Activity

“Fraud permeates all of the dealings and contracts between Class Plaintiffs and all Defendants herein, from start to finish. [InventHelp et al]’s enterprise as a whole is fraudulent.

In truth and in fact, [InventHelp et al] do not (nor ever intend to) fulfill the bulk of the promises they make to Plaintiffs, instead making off with their money and leaving Plaintiffs high and dry.”

(See Zanotti v. InventHelp – Page 4)

“Moreover, the scheme described herein is a continuing operation and poses the threat of continued criminal activity, preying upon unsuspecting victims. [InventHelp et al]’s websites and television commercials continue to tout their invention promotion services to lure potential inventors to enter into contracts with [InventHelp et al] for fraudulent invention promotion services.”

(See Calhoun v. InventHelp – Page 24)

“In sum, all “efforts” made on Plaintiffs’ behalf by [InventHelp et al] are lies and scams. [InventHelp et al], contrary to their written and verbal representations, have no meaningful interest or investment in fulfilling their contractual promises; rather, their business model is based upon receipt of Submission Service fees, and nothing more.”

(See Miclaus v. InventHelp – Page 38)


InventHelp Lawsuits: Stories from the Plaintiff Inventors

Plaintiff Julie Zanotti’s Story: “Liqui Comb” Idea

According to the class action complaint Zanotti v. Invention Submission Corp. dba InventHelp, hair stylist Julie Zanotti believed she had created a new invention she called the Liqui Comb: a hollow comb that would evenly distribute styling products on hair through the comb’s teeth.

Initial Meeting: Assured Her Idea was Original, When it was Not

She contacted InventHelp after seeing their caveman television advertising and was referred to an Invents Company representative who assured her that “her idea was not only viable, but that it was original and presented an excellent opportunity for profit.” In actuality, her comb idea was not original and several companies already sold a similar product.

Agreement with Invents Company, But Services Never Provided

Invents offered to partner with her for $7,950 to commercialize her invention, agreeing to send press releases, create a product web page, produce an infomercial and purchase airtime for it, contact targeted companies for manufacture and distribution, and provide 24-hour standby operators to field any calls. But these promised services were never provided.

Referral for Patent Work, Despite Not Patentable Idea

Invents referred her to an attorney to obtain a utility patent for her invention. Despite being aware that her idea was not patentable because it was not unique and several companies already made and sold similar products, the attorney agreed to represent her for $4,490.

Agreement for Licensing and Manufacturing, Again Services Never Provided

After a while, Ms. Zanotti was contacted by Zambro Manufacturing, offering her a licensing and manufacturing agreement, and she agreed to pay them $3,000. Again, the promised services were never provided.


Plaintiff Ronese Brooks’ Story: “Removable Temples” Eyeglasses Idea

In the class action complaint Zanotti v. Invention Submission Corp. dba InventHelp, Ronese Brooks has a similar story about her invention: eyeglasses with detachable and adjustable arms she called “Removable Temples.”

“Feasibility Study” Promises Huge Profits

Ms. Brooks contacted InventHelp after seeing their television ads promising to help inventors protect, develop and market inventors’ ideas. She met with an Invents Company representative, who told her “that her idea was worth “billions” because the eyewear industry is so large.

The representative then conducted an initial “feasibility study” and told Ms. Brooks “that her Removable Temples received a 93% score, which meant that it was unique, it would be relatively easy to produce, and would realize huge profits. He claimed that in all the “many years” he had worked with Invents, only one other product had ever received a “feasibility score” over 90%.

Patent Search Incorrectly Claims Idea is Unique

Ms. Brooks paid $595 for an initial patent search and project summary, and Invents told her the patent search showed no similar patents and that Invents wanted to partner with her. In actuality, her idea was not original and several companies already sold products similar to her Removable Temples idea.

Agreement with Invents Company, But Services Never Provided

She paid $8,950 and signed an agreement with Invents Company for them to send press releases, create a product web page, produce an infomercial and purchase airtime for it, and contact targeted companies for manufacture and distribution. The work she paid for was not done.

Referral for Patent Work, Despite Not Patentable Idea

She was referred to a patent consulting company and paid $2,800 for a utility patent, even though the attorney knew her invention was not patentable, because similar products were already on the market.

Licensing and Manufacturing Offer Raises Suspicions

For months, Invents failed to return all her phone calls, and then Global Express Manufacturing offered to manufacture her invention for $5,000. They told her they had already engaged another company, “Smith Lilly Health & Beauty Manufacturing Supply” to license and market her invention.

Ms. Brooks became suspicious and ultimately sent an email to Global Express Manufacturing and Invents stating her belief that the companies were engaging in fraudulent business activities.


Plaintiff Etta Calhoun’s Story: “The Word of God Bedding” Idea

According to the class action complaint Calhoun v. Invention Submission Corp. dba InventHelp, Etta Calhoun believed she had created a new invention: bed linens printed with words of Christian scripture which she called “The Word of God Bedding.”

InventHelp Meeting: Assured Her Idea was Original, When it was Not

Ms. Calhoun saw various TV ads for InventHelp featuring the cartoon image of a caveman sitting on a rock, banging a wheel with a chisel, and she called to ask about their services. When she met with an InventHelp representative, she was assured that “her idea was not only viable, but that it was original and presented an excellent opportunity for profit.” In actuality, her idea was not original and several companies already made and sold similar products.

Basic Information Package Just Loosely-Related Cut and Pasted Info

Ms. Calhoun agreed to pay $780 for a “Basic Information Package Report.” But when she received the report, it was nothing more than loosely-related cut and pasted information.

Patentability Opinion Nothing but Boilerplate Drivel

The Patentability Opinion provided to Ms. Calhoun is nothing but boilerplate drivel, meant to appear professional, and is purposefully confusing so that unsuspecting inventors will proceed with expensive “Submission Services” with InventHelp.

Pressured to Take Out Loan for More Expensive Submission Services

Ms. Calhoun was told that InventHelp would partner with her for $9,950 for their Submission Services to market her invention. She couldn’t afford that, and the representative told her that InventHelp had a relationship with a “private money lender” and conveniently had a loan contract from Defendant Universal Payment Corporation on hand.

$8,990 Submission Agreement with InventHelp

Ms. Calhoun signed a “Submission Agreement” with InventHelp for $8,990, in which InventHelp agreed to prepare a New Product Submission Brochure, including a description of the invention, benefits and features, a 3D graphic or other illustration in color, Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes and suggested distribution channels, and also submit her idea to its “Data Bank” of companies.

InventHelp’s Data Bank of Sham Companies

InventHelp claimed to send Ms. Calhoun’s New Product Submission Brochure to the companies in its Data Bank. In reality, the “Data Bank company lists sent to all InventHelp customers, are shams. Some of the companies do not exist and are purposefully misspelled to resemble actual existing companies that have no relationship with InventHelp (for example, listing the company as ‘Inc.’ instead of ‘LLC’).” Other companies have no relationship or agreements with InventHelp. Some of the companies are sham companies affiliated with InventHelp itself.

All Efforts Made by InventHelp to Commercialize Her Invention are Lies and Scams

In sum, all “efforts” made on Ms. Calhoun’s behalf by [InventHelp et al] in order to help her “commercialize her invention” are lies and scams. Their business model is based upon receipt of Submission Service fees, and nothing more.

She Wants to Know Why George Foreman Represents the Company

Etta Calhoun trusted InventHelp largely because the TV ads featuring George Foreman led her to believe the company was reputable. The TV ads leave people with the impression that he used InventHelp to make it big with his idea, but he’s actually just a paid spokesman.

She’s Not Suing for the Money, She Just Wants Them Stopped

As for the lawsuit, Calhoun says she’s not suing for the money. “I just want them stopped,” Calhoun says. “They tell you that you come in and you give them your idea. They would have it made and then you would give them 20 or 30 percent of everything, but you wouldn’t have to do any of the work.


Plaintiff Carla Austin’s Story: “No More Tissue” Toilet Seat Cover

According to the class action complaint Austin v. Invention Submission Corporation dba InventHelp, Carla Austin invented a cloth toilet seat cover that could be attached with elastic, pull strings, or snaps. This would solve the problem of cold toilet seats, and it could also be made out of decorative fabric such as a favorite team logo or cartoon character. She called her invention “No More Tissue.”

Ms. Austin signed a Submission Agreement and agreed to pay InventHelp $13,900 for its invention submission and matching services and also agreed to refrain from otherwise marketing her invention.

A Significant Portion of the Data Bank Company Submissions Were Worthless

InventHelp sent Ms. Austin Company Submission Reports, listing a total of fifty Data Bank companies to which InventHelp claimed to have mailed Ms. Austin’s New Product Submission Brochure.

The Company Submission Reports included several companies that appeared more than once or were no longer in business:

Ms. Austin hired InventHelp to seek licensing and marketing for a toilet seat cover. “Yet, a significant portion of the companies on the list were not in a compatible industry, therefore making the submissions worthless.

  • Lynk, Inc. – sells home organization products
  • SmartWorks – provides project development and staffing services to companies in healthcare, banking, finance, telecommunication and aviation
  • Like-It/Mira USA – Google searches for MIRA USA find a non-profit charity that promotes the social integration of immigrants
  • Mishu Designs NY Inc. – sells magnets, frames, stickers, and other similar paraphernalia
  • Upper Canada Soap – sells soap and toiletries, such as manicure kits, shaving kits, makeup organizers, and mirrors. While the word “toilet” is part of “toiletries,” the company was not a relevant match.
  • Soapsox Kids – sells washclothes in whimsical shapes that hold soap for children to use at bath time
  • W. Kintz Plastics Inc. – part of Universal Plastics, a plastic fabricator that does custom thermoforming, injection molding, structural foam molding, and custom blow molding – a wildly inappropriate company for submission of Ms. Austin’s toilet seat cover

Plaintiff Nil Leone’s Story: “Solar Stroller” Invention

According to the class action complaint Austin v. Invention Submission Corporation dba InventHelp, Nil Leone invented a stroller that keeps the child cool in hot weather, includes entertainment features as well as storage space that can keep food and milk/formula chilled. She called it the “Solar Stroller.”

Ms. Leone signed a Submission Agreement and agreed to pay InventHelp $10,900 for its invention submission and matching services and also agreed to refrain from otherwise marketing her invention.

InventHelp Submitted to Companies that were Non-Existent Or Were Not a Match for Her Invention

InventHelp sent Ms. Leone Company Submission Reports that listed a total of forty-two Data Bank companies and eight database companies to which InventHelp claimed to have mailed Ms. Leone’s New Product Submission Brochure.

InventHelp submitted Ms. Leone’s New Product Submission Brochure to non-existent and defunct entities:

Ms. Leone hired InventHelp to seek licensing and marketing for a “Solar Stroller,” but her Company Submission Reports include baffling match results. Companies that InventHelp claims to have sent Ms. Leone’s “Solar Stroller:”

  • Funny Monkey Stickers – its Facebook page describes its product as: “Funny Money Stickers is an exciting new way to personalize an impersonal cash gift!”
  • What Kids Want – sells and licenses toys, but not strollers
  • Mobi Technologies, Inc. – sells baby thermometers, blood pressure monitors, and baby monitoring cameras, but not strollers
  • Michaelson Entertainment – sells customizable sports memorabilia
  • Loopy Gear – sells specialty, handmade baby gear, such as wrist loops that attach toys and teethers to a baby’s wrist, bibs and similar products. It does not sell strollers.

Plaintiff Geta Miclaus’s Story: Inflatable Tourniquet Idea

According to the class action complaint Miclaus v. Invention Submission Corporation dba InventHelp, Registered Nurse Geta Miclaus had an idea for a potential invention: an inflatable tourniquet controlled by a foot pedal that would enable medical professionals to more safely and easily insert “Peripherally Inserted Central Catheters” (otherwise known as “PICC Lines”) into patients’ arms.

InventHelp Pays to Erase Bad Reviews Online

After seeing several InventHelp TV commercials, Geta researched the company and found many glowing reviews. She then contacted InventHelp through its website. “Unbeknownst to her, in order to obstruct consumers’ view of the hundreds of negative reviews, InventHelp pays sophisticated “reputation management professionals” to erase bad reviews online.

Told That Her Idea Carried Immense Potential for Profit at First Meeting

Geta met with an InventHelp representative and was told “that her idea was extremely marketable and carried immense potential for profit.” She signed a Basic Information Package Agreement for $760 and Preliminary Patentability Search and Opinion Referral Request for $215.

Patentability Opinions Sent to All InventHelp Customers are False and Misleading

InventHelp sent a one-page hand-written description of Geta’s proposed invention to Patent Attorney Defendant Frost for the Preliminary Patentability Search and Opinion Referral Request. Ms. Miclaus never discussed her invention with the attorney, never met with him in person, never talked with him on the phone, nor sent him any further supporting documents for the patent search.

The Preliminary Patentability Opinions sent to all InventHelp customers, are false and misleading. Mr. Frost did not have the ability to conduct a proper patent search, and did not do so.

Upsold into $14,500 Submission Services

Geta met with InventHelp a second time to review these results, unaware that the true purpose of the meeting was to “upsell” her to more costly Submission Services. “The Basic Information Package and Preliminary Patentability Opinion are part of [InventHelp et al]’s ploy to convince consumers that their inventions are marketable and/or patentable, and con them into signing contracts for the more expensive Submission Services.

Geta signed a $14,500 Submission Agreement with InventHelp to prepare a New Product Submission Brochure, which it would submit to its Data Bank of companies and include in its Virtual Invention Browsing Experience (VIBE) at a trade show.

InventHelp Claimed to Submit Her Invention to Data Bank Companies Which Don’t Exist or Never Received Anything from InventHelp

After signing up for their Submission Services, Geta started receiving a series of letters from InventHelp, claiming that her invention was now part of their Virtual Trade Show and that her invention had been submitted to specific Data Bank companies.

Examples of Data Bank companies to which InventHelp claimed they sent Geta’s invention:

  • “Tamsco Instruments” – it received no information about Geta’s invention from InventHelp, and in fact has no relationship with InventHelp, receives no mail from InventHelp, and has never signed any nondisclosure agreement with InventHelp.
  • “Haven Innovation” – also receives no mail or proposals from InventHelp, and does not have any confidentiality agreement with InventHelp.
  • “Rinz-L-O Pillow Co.” – listed by InventHelp as a Missouri company, but in fact appears to be based in the Philippines with no U.S. contact person.
  • “Welland Medical” – listed as a Vermont-based Data Bank company, but has been defunct for years.

Spent Over $15,000 for InventHelp’s Worthless, False, and Fraudulent Services

Geta Miclaus, a Registered Nurse, risks the health and safety of herself and her family by caring for hospitalized COVID-19 patients. She has spent over $15,000 for InventHelp’s worthless, false, and fraudulent services.


Plaintiffs Kevin and Vim Byrne’s Story: “Bonding Double Doll Collection” Idea

According to the class action complaint Miclaus v. Invention Submission Corporation dba InventHelp, Kevin and Vim Byrne, a grocery store manager and a stay-at-home mother, believed that they had a new invention idea: a two-sided doll customized to represent family members, such as a mother and daughter. They called their idea the “Bonding Double Doll Collection.”

Told Idea had Enormous Potential for Profit at Initial InventHelp Meeting

Lured in by InventHelp’s television commercials, Mr. and Mrs. Byrne met with an InventHelp representative who expressed extreme excitement over their idea and told them it had enormous potential for profit.

They signed the Basic Information Package Agreement with Western InventHelp for $760, financed by “private money lender” Universal Payment Corporation.

$11,900 Submission Services Financed with InventHelp’s “Private Money Lender”

A couple months later, Mr. and Mrs. Byrne received a call offering them a “rare special” on InventHelp’s Submission Services which would save them thousands of dollars, but the deal was only available for two more days.

At the second meeting with InventHelp, they were told that the results of the Basic Information Package were very promising, and then pressured to sign a $11,900 “Submission Agreement” with Western InventHelp. When they expressed concerns about the high cost of these services, they were encouraged to use their existing contract with “private money lender” Universal Payment Corporation.

InventHelp Routinely Uses Sham “60-Day License Agreements” to Falsify the Number of Clients who Received License Agreements

Mrs. Byrne received an email from InventHelp claiming that a company wanted to pay them $500 for a “60-day license” to review their product. Mr. and Mrs. Byrne were overjoyed that a company was interested in licensing their invention, and they soon received a $500 check in the mail. They were never provided with a fully executed License Agreement, nor given the name of any person representing that purported company. Later, they were informed that the company decided not to renew the 60-day license, but the $500 was theirs to keep.

InventHelp routinely uses sham “60-Day License Agreements” and $500 checks like those sent to the Byrnes to falsify its AIPA disclosures regarding the number of InventHelp clients who received license agreements by virtue of InventHelp’s services. These are not real license agreements, and the companies on whose behalf they are sent are not real.

Many Data Bank Companies Do Not Exist or Do Not Have Any Relationship with InventHelp

Mr. and Mrs. Byrne regularly received letters on InventHelp letterhead claiming that InventHelp had sent their idea to Data Bank Companies, which had signed confidentiality agreements. However, many of these Data Bank companies do not exist, did not sign nondisclosure agreements, and/or do not have any relationship with InventHelp.

Examples of Data Bank companies to which InventHelp claimed they sent the Byrnes’ invention:

  • “Ozark Mountain Kids” – per the owner of the company, it has no relationship with InventHelp, never had any relationship with InventHelp, never signed any nondisclosure agreement with InventHelp and never received any information about the Byrnes’ invention from InventHelp.
  • “RB Toy Design, Inc.” – per the principal of the company, he never agreed to be a part of InventHelp’s Data Bank, never received information about the Byrnes’ invention, and that instead he just “ended up on a list.”
  • Gann Memorials LLC – per the principal of the company, it has no relationship with InventHelp and has never signed any nondisclosure agreement with InventHelp, and in fact has repeatedly told InventHelp to take it off of its list, but continues to receive “junk mail” from InventHelp.
  • “Moose Mountain” – does not exist as an independent entity and its parent company, JAKKS Pacific, Inc., does not accept concept submissions as a matter of company policy.
  • Toysmith Group – does not accept product submissions as a matter of company policy.

Paid InventHelp over $12,000 for Worthless, False and Fraudulent Services

InventHelp strung Mr. and Mrs. Byrnes along, providing them with incomplete and false AIPA disclosures, falsely representing that it was working on their behalf, even going so far as to present them with a sham licensing agreement and a check signed by Defendant Susa for $500, fraudulently representing that it was in exchange for a “60-day license” of their undeveloped, unpatented idea.

The Byrnes financed their InventHelp contracts through Universal Payment Corporation. When they could no longer afford to make the monthly payments, InventHelp first repeatedly harassed the Byrnes and then reported them to a credit agency, thereby lowering their credit rating. Ultimately they paid off the Universal Payment Corporation contract so that they could restore their credit and get on with their lives. The Byrnes paid InventHelp over $12,000 for “worthless, false and fraudulent services.

More info on class action lawsuits against InventHelp at:


How to Protect Yourself from Invention Promotion Scams

Be Involved in the Process

As a new inventor or busy small business owner, the process of patenting and commercializing your invention can feel overwhelming, which makes the idea of paying someone else to handle everything for you very appealing.

Ultimately, this is your idea, and you cannot delegate your responsibility to make it succeed – you must become an Entrepreneur to bring your invention to market.

As a new Entrepreneur, you will need expert advice to help you – you must assemble a team of professionals. Using your vision, you lead the team, and the experts on your team give you the information you need to decisively take action steps, bringing your idea From Your Mind to the Marketplace®.

Beware Promises of Profits

No one can guarantee that you will make money from your invention. But you can improve your chances for success by being involved, getting professional advice and information along the way, and persisting in the face of obstacles until success is achieved.

Beware Patent Searches that Find Nothing

Even if your invention is unique and patentable, a good Patent Search should still find the prior art that is most similar to your invention. This is necessary for writing the patent application, so we can claim your invention as broadly as possible, while not stepping on the toes of any related prior art.


Call for a Free Consultation to Guide your Next Action Steps

Russ Weinzimmer & Associates, PC is an experienced patent law firm serving clients nationwide. We have the knowledge to represent individual inventors and entrepreneurs, as well as startups. We understand what adds value to a business, and we put that knowledge to work for our clients.

Call for your Free Phone Consultation with Patent Attorney Russ Weinzimmer: (800) 621-3654.


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