North Sioux City, SD asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for Ohio

Q: A low income elderly lady submitted her "invention" to a company for them to get a patent for it. The company has been

the company has been drawing on her bank account monthly, for several years. How can she get her money back. The "invention" is not worthy of a patent and she should have been notified of that. She is living on government checks and unable to work. What can she do?

1 Lawyer Answer
Kevin E. Flynn
Kevin E. Flynn
  • Patents Lawyer
  • Pittsboro, NC

A: This is not an isolated case. Many people of limited means are encouraged to file patent applications that are on a path to nowhere by invention promotion firms. The federal government is aware of these firms. You can file a complaint, and find other useful information via the links at this USPTO web page --

Patent attorneys warn people about this problem but as we have a vested interest in people paying for real services from real providers, some people dismiss our warnings. Often, the inventor does not contact a real patent attorney until paying thousands of dollars for useless services.

But in the end, this is consumer contract law and not patent law and your friend needs to contact an attorney that helps consumers that have been duped or defrauded.

You can help others by posting in your social media a summary of this story and warning people to only deal with professionals that come via a recommendation from an attorney or accountant that you know and trust.

Kevin E Flynn

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