Thank you for all your postings!
I received my legal packet last week and was supposed to have my follow up phone appointment yesterday. Fortunately I missed it and with no answering machine I called an left a message that I apologized for my unexpected absence and requested a return call for Monday (two days from now). Finally I went thru all the documents in the packet today. A number of items stuck out like a sore thumb and reading a few of the previous postings helped affirm my thoughts.
No one likes reading all the legal mumbo jumbo, but it's very important because what it reveals is...well, read on...
Basically my prior signed "confidentiality agreement" will become null and void if I sign the new "confidentiality agreement" and the added "contingency agreement."
The new agreement forbids me from discussing my idea with other potential companies who are interested in licensing my invention - clearly Davison wants a cut no matter if they are the ones who secure a contract for me or not.
Under the ownership section, Davison makes it very clear that they have "development services, under a separate contract" (of course!) and that I am "free to obtain such materials elsewhere or not to obtain them at all." That's nice, right? Well, the next sentence is, "However, (any time a sentence starts with "however" you know there's trouble) materials obtained elsewhere or made by the client (meaning if I make my own prototype) are subject to Davison's approval proir to submission to a licensee." It gets worse, "If Davison does not approve the materials made by client or obtained elsewhere.....and client is unwilling to make such changes...as required by Davison, this agreement will be terminated."
Then the clincher in this section, "Davison is not responsible for any lost or damaged production samples and/or prototypes." So, what they are saying is that their level of care regarding your prototype can be whatever because they are not responsible for it anyway. Hmmmm....
Also, they include in your agreement, that you acknowledge they they have "assisted 3,271 clients wanting licensing services in the last five years." (NOTE: this is a new legal requirement of invention companies due to previous fraud complaints.) Back to the 3,271 clients..."Davison does not provide evaluations of commercial potential." Then, ask yourself, WHY DO I WANT TO USE THEM??? Aren't we looking for "commercial potential"?
The bad news continues, "Davison is aware of 109 projects that have been licensed for individual clients, of which ten (yes, that is 10) have resulted in net financial profit to the project owner" ready for the end of the sentence???? "...since 1990."
O.K. - now, ask yourself again....Why am I paying $685 (to get started) and signing an agreement with a company who is not providing any evaluation of commercial potential AND who in the past 15 years only knows of 10 individual clients who have netted financial profit????
There is a lot more mumbo jumbo included in their paperwork, but these points are enough for me.
Also, a quick review of the online access to the Better Business Bureau (www.bbb.org) and easy search on "davison" in PA will yield enough info to tell you that there are a number of unsatisfied clients and pending investigations to make you want to hold onto your checkbook.
Thank you and best of luck.