In August of 2004, my husband & I paid a sum of $1190.00 to Advent Product Development for a preliminary search to see if his invention was already in existence. This was after we had met with Serena at the Clearwater, FL office and she assured us that they would only continue on with this step if it was a good bet that it would make them and us alot of money.
The search came back showing that our invention was substantially different from anything patented.
So then we continued on to step 2 and paid an additional $8,490.00 to APD for patenting, marketing and securing a licensing agreement for our product.
First of all, she was misleading about the patenting. She made it appear that once we received "patent pending" that this was as good as a utility patent. As she put it, no one receives actual patents because the patent office is years behind on reviewing applications.
We found out in February 2006, that the provisional patent is not what we wanted or needed. I talked with Tammy in the South Carolina office and she assured me that this was part of the process.
Then today (5/23/06), almost two years and $9,680.00 into this ordeal, my husband spots his invention (slightly modified) on the rack at Lowes, being sold by DeWalt.
His invention is the 7 in 1 Combo Bit. DeWalt's has 6 components.
So after hearing this, I left work and came home to call Advent. Our Contact, Tammy is not available per her voice mail until 6/5/06 and would like you to return your call then.
So I hung up and called back. This time I spoke to Ann, the marketing tech. She was not very helpful. Instead of answering my question as to why this wasn't picked up on the patent search, she just said that "They (DeWalt)didn't get it from us" and said she'd mail us a disclosure for DeWalt to cover themselves from liability.
Dorothy (covering for Tammy) called me back later at home and said that these things are not uncommon. Also she said it might work to our benefit that DeWalt is selling a similar tool as it shows a need in the market.
And regarding my question about the patent search, she said that if DeWalt's was patent pending, it wouldn't show up.
I should have trusted my husband's instincts not to go with this company. I really wish I had found this website earlier, then we might have been the ones with the tool on the shelf at the hardware stores.