• Report: #881825

Complaint Review: Quirky

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  • Submitted: Sat, May 12, 2012
  • Updated: Thu, November 21, 2013

  • Reported By: The Watchman — orlando Florida United States of America
606 West 28th Street, Floor 7 New York, NY 10001 Internet United States of America

Quirky Quirky.com You will lose your invention, you will not retain the rights to your invention Internet, Internet

*Consumer Comment: Invention submitted

*Consumer Comment: Quirky

*General Comment: Who is the "Inventor"?

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Is there something quirky about Quirky, Inc.?

CNNs program The Next List, profiled a product development company called, Quirky, Inc. The CEO and Founder, Ben Kaufman, made a statement that his company does not take an inventors idea until Quirky, Inc. decides to commercialize the product.  Certainly he could not mean that the company actually takes ownership of the idea. But a check of their websites confirms it -   YES they actually take an assignment of all IP rights in the submitted idea.  The text from their FAQ section states it plainly:

What happens to intellectual property when I submit an idea to Quirky for consideration?

By submitting your idea to Quirky, you grant a license in all IP in the submission to Quirky and the Quirky community of users to consider and comment on your submission within the Quirky platform. If Quirky accepts your submission for
further development and possibly eventual commercialization, you assign ownership in all IP in the submission to Quirky.

Later in the program, Mr. Kaufman explained how under their process an idea is placed on their website where numerous individuals may comment upon the product and influence its development.  If the product is commercialized, not only
does the initial idea submitter participate in the revenues, but all members who influenced the idea.  The program
highlighted one individual who stated his name was on a patent.  Again looking at their website, this product is
featured, it identified the inventor and states over 800 others have influenced the products development.  While this is
interesting, it poses a question of whether all 800+ individuals are named inventors on the patent.  The USPTOs FAQ section on Patents states the following:

5. If two or more persons work together to make an invention, to whom will the patent be granted?

A. If each had a share in the ideas forming the invention as defined in the claims even if only as to one claim, they are joint inventors and a patent will be issued to them jointly on the basis of a proper patent application. If, on the other hand, one of these persons has provided all of the ideas of the invention, and the other has only followed instructions
in making it, the person who contributed the ideas is the sole inventor and the patent application and patent shall be in his/her name alone.

While it is true that developing a new product on your own can be difficult, it may be worthwhile to learn the details of the type of help that is being offered before accepting such help.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 05/12/2012 12:32 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Quirky/internet/Quirky-Quirkycom-You-will-lose-your-invention-you-will-not-retain-the-rights-to-your-in-881825. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Consumer Comment

Invention submitted


I just submitted by life's invention to Quirky, now I am reading this. Did I just make a huge dumb mistake? If so, what can I do now, I trusted them with my idea. I didn't expect them to build the product for me, but I didn't think they'd steal it for themselves. I saw them on CBS this morning, felt them of good character, and CBS endorsed their service. Now I am scared to death. I'd hate to see Sully Sullivan hawking my invention a year from now for someone else.  

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#2 Consumer Comment


AUTHOR: j.y. - ()

What the idiot that published that report fails to realize is, any company you license to that pays for or takes over IP, is listed as the assignee. They own your IP but you profit from it, just by signing it over. I know of no company that will take your idea, develop it, manufacture it, sell it, account for it and let you own the IP.

Its common practice in our industry to assign over your IP. Quirky does it, Edison Nation does it, Lifetime brands does it, etc..

Also I saw nothing in that report that anyone was ripped off, it looked more like an ax to grind with absolute no merit or value. It is nothing Quirky hides, its up front in the users agreement for anyone with the common sense of a Billy goat to read and understand.

One was ripped off in that report !

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#3 General Comment

Who is the "Inventor"?

AUTHOR: Adam Ellsworth - (United States of America)

This is not so much a rebuttal as an answer to your question regarding who the inventor is.

It looks like Quirky.com requires that inventors submit their ideas before everyone comments. The submitter would be the only inventor of the idea. Changes to style or form would generally not be patentable, and would probably not be described in a patent. Most, if not all, commenters would make suggestions that fall in this category. The only time a commenter would be an inventor is if they suggested a novel change to the operation or structure that was later recited in claims of a patent. 

So you'd never have 800 inventors, as you suggest. At most, only two or three people would likely suggest the type of features that may be included in a patent.

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