• Report: #552325

Complaint Review: America Invents, LLC

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  • Submitted: Mon, January 11, 2010
  • Updated: Sun, July 01, 2012

  • Reported By: Raybar — Coatesville Pennsylvania U.S.A.
America Invents, LLC
220 Halleck St. San Francisco, California United States of America

America Invents, LLC Bill Seidel Bait-and-Switch Scam, Threates and Intimidation Tactics to be Keep Client Quiet San Francisco, California

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: Owner

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            America Invents and Bill Seidel are operating a Bait-and-Switch Scam.

 

STEP 1- THE BAIT- Promise the client anything. He told me he would build a prototype for my project. He never said anything about me paying for it in addition to his initial fee. In fact when I asked him about this he told me dont worry about that. Well take care of it. When I asked about the minimum financial requirements for clients he said thats just a formality, dont worry about that. I had already told him that I am disabled and have no income. Then he started giving me progress reports about building the prototype for three months.

 

STEP 2-  PRETEND TO WORK ON IT- We have reviewed your product on Wednesday and its great! You have a very clever product that is very well designed. We have a company that has expressed interest in the application. They are not a manufacturer but an appliance company, however they believe it has sizeable potential. He told me by phone that the owner of the appliance company was a friend of his and that the appliance company had a fabrication shop and was going to help with the prototype. He said he was going to tour their fabrication shop. Your baby is in good hands. I thing we have the company to make the prototype. I need more on these heat exchanger plates We will have to figure this out soon and start ordering parts and we need the right parts. We will pin this down and get a good working prototype. I have a great appliance company wants to work with this because they want to test it. I am still holding for some prices and return calls from the companies we have contacted. Everything else you state is on target. Hopefully I can pull the costs together this week and get this prototype under way. When I asked when I would get a prototype he told me I am going to get at least three prototypes to you by the end of the summer of 2008.

 

STEP 3-  CONFUSE THE ISSUES AND STALL- Hes been trying to confuse the issues since, nothing he says makes sense, its all intentionally contradictory and doesnt add up.  Five days after the BBB forwarded my complaint to him I received this on Tuesday, December 09, 2008: Finally a first draft which is already being revised. He had his draftsman work over the weekend to produce something to show to the BBB, which the dates clearly show. His first draft is a copy of a design by Wright, USPN 4875298 and has nothing to do with my project, USPN 7213349. He said the patent doesnt say anywhere that this unit has to have plates. The next day I received this: I just received the BBB complaint today and will respond the BBB complaint was not the reason for sending the drawings. If you can successfully fin a low temp. air-to-air exchanger (with an acceptable exchange rate) I will be very impressed and that would be cause for another patent with sizeable conservation potential. Bill Another patent? Then he asked me how this filter works? What is the status of the prototype? Aside of what the Agreement says, we agreed to help and assist in your prototype effort. The plate is required in the patent. So much for his deception for the BBB which had no plates.

 

STEP 4- THE SWITCH- Fall back on The Contract. we can make the prototype for you for an additional cost of $11,700. The prototype is the responsibility of the client.

 

STEP 5- INTIMIDATE CLIENT TO BE QUIET- You agreed to Mediate and/or Arbitrate in San Francisco. This cost is $3,000-$8,000 per party, plus attorney costs and your travel costs and you additional expenses If you do not appear it will be a default ruling in our favor. Additionally if you continue to file complaints outside of Mediation or Arbitration we will also be forced to take legal action against you to force you to stop that behavior. In his letter on Inventor Fraud.com he states we have never filed suit or threatened to file suit against any client. This is how he ends complaints and keeps his BBB Record clean to deceive new clients who check him out with the BBB. 

  

STEP 6- DO IT TO SOMEONE ELSE

America Invents and Bill Seidel are operating a Bait-and-Switch Scam. I didnt give him money to watch me struggle, he said he would build the prototype. After 18 months he has done nothing except practice deception and work his scam. I want my $6300 returned. He has caused me a great loss of development time with his Scam.    


This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/11/2010 08:37 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/America-Invents-LLC/San-Francisco-California-94129/America-Invents-LLC-Bill-Seidel-Bait-and-Switch-Scam-Threates-and-Intimidation-Tactics-t-552325. 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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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
0Author 0Consumer 1Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Owner

AUTHOR: Bill Seidel - (United States of America)

Regarding:  #454729 - False report against America Invents and Mr. Bill Seidel

Please allow me to correct this false report by Richard Brunner.  I provide a brief overview of the errors of fact and if you care to read my detailed response, it follows.  Now the visitors to your site have the opportunity to know the facts and actual occurrences. 

Brief Overview: Richard Brunners report to you is false because:

1. These same claims were proven false by the Attorney Generals of California and Pennsylvania, there were never any charges (or even any questions).  This same report was thrown out, in its entirety and proven that there was no bait-and-switch, no intimidation and no deception.  These are serious accusations and we were exonerated from any wrongdoing. 

2. These same accusations were also proven false and dismissed by the Better Business Bureau.  Mr. Brunner provided no evidence to support his accusations, his e-mails proved he was lying, as shown below and he was in breach of the Agreement. 

3. This is a contract dispute.  He signed an Agency Agreement solely to represent his intellectual property.  He now pleads that the Agreement he signed is intimidation.  Two attorney generals ruled there is nothing tricky and no intimidation.  His report to you is false. 

4.Regarding his prototype, he signed an Agency Agreement, which specifically excluded the prototype and clearly states he was required to provide it.  When the BBB and two attorney generals reviewed the Agreement they found that he was required to provide the prototype. 

So why is Mr. Brunner so mad that he would go to such extremes to lie to attorney generals?  In the process we learned that his concept was illegal in all states as it obstructed ventilation, was a fire and safety violation[1] and was illegal in all building codes[2].  Further, it voids the warranty of all clothes dryer manufacturers[3]. By code, nothing is permitted inside a dryer exhaust vent as lint collects on anything (even rivets) and causes obstruction and fire.  These fatal flaws in his design, holes in his patent and non-compliance with codes, rendered his concept illegal and unmarketable.
 
We did our job. We tried to improve, redesign and redirect his project but he blamed us for his problems when we simply exposed them.  This is like calling 911 then blaming the firemen for starting the fire!  We abided by the agreement and more, Mr. Brunner neglected to say:

1. The Agreement was for 6 months and we worked on his project for almost two years. 

2. We offered to work on his project at no cost to him and at a much lower rate, both of which he rejected and instead it was his decision to pay for 6 months of our services.

3. We made many attempts to resolve these problems (at our cost) but because of the code, safety and patent issues, it required starting over, which Mr. Brunner refused to accept. 

4. We provided the first phase design (not required) and he did not pay for it. 

5. We attended trade shows which he was required to pay for and he did not. 

Mr. Brunner cites no Paragraphs we breached, however we cite the agreement paragraphs he breached.  He provides no correspondence, no facts and he claims that we (me) made statements but he provides no evidence. However I provide a few of the many dated e-mails in Mr. Brunners own words that prove his report to you to be false.

In our 28 year history, we have achieved a lot of success with $1.5 billion in product sales.  We are referred by leading publications and speak at some of the best universities and professional organizations.  We honestly do our best to achieve success for every project we accept.  In all situations we must be straight with our clients, even if they dont like it. 

As you can see in the e-mails below, Mr. Brunner didnt believe the codes apply to him; he had delusions of a billion dollars when he had no product and he refused to improve his patent.  And he continued to mislead us with false information.  Instead of taking positive and constructive action, he fabricated false claims and attacked us because he didnt like our findings.

This has victimized my company and me with wildly false claims and damaging accusations.  Mr. Brunner knew his report to you was false.  This damages any company and there is little we can do to respond because our good reputation has already been smeared.  Richard Brunner makes it personal and attacks me and company individuals that had no contact with him or the project. 
 
Detailed Response:  Mr. Brunner makes it hard to respond because his claims are so convoluted and disorganized however we will try our best to respond to every claim in his report to you. 

Regarding his point #1, There is no bait and switch, there are no intimidation tactics and no prototype is required as repeatedly proven.  This was proven false by two attorney generals.  

1. Regarding minimum financial requirements, per the Agreement, we do not accept business from any individual that does not make $50,000 per year and/or had a net worth of $100,000 or more.  He committed to this in contract.  Now he claims he misrepresented his financial situation when he signed the Agreement - he admits he lied and breached the Agreement.  Per Paragraph 24:

24. CLIENTS QUALIFICATIONS AND DISCLOSURES. . . Client discloses that Clients gross income for the preceding or forthcoming year will be at least $50,000 or that Clients net assets are at least $100,000.  (This provision is made part of this Agreement because Agent has determined that persons lacking either of these qualifications may be risking too much of their earnings or savings to be in the business of commercializing intellectual property.)  This disclosure is made so that Client can enter into this form of contract. . ."

2. We have no knowledge of any disability, this is the first we heard of this. 

3. The prototype is specifically excluded from the Agreement and requires the client to provide it per Paragraphs 2, 12[4], Exhibits A, C and D.  His own words prove he is working on and promising to provide the prototype. 

From: rabat407@comcast.net [mailto:rabat407@comcast.net]
Sent: Monday, November 24, 2008 5:45 AM
To: Bill Seidel
Subject: re: Exchanger
"Dear Bill,
"Penn State Engineering Department is very interested in doing this work and developing final version of this project during the spring semester. This would result in a marketable prototype that we can present to companies."
"Richard                                                                                       

At six months he dismissed Penn State and Bucknell Engineering is scheduled to work on it. 

From: rabat407@comcast.net [mailto:rabat407@comcast.net]
Sent: Tuesday, April 28, 2009 5:49 AM
To: Bill Seidel
Subject: Re: exchanger project
"Hi Bill,
I didn't start work with Penn State because they wanted their students to hold patent rights on any project they worked on. But, I've been working with Bucknell U. They're going to start research on the exchanger during the summer semester."
"Richard 

It is clear he is planning the prototype as he is sourcing parts from Chart, Inc. 

From: rabat407@comcast.net [mailto:rabat407@comcast.net]
Sent: Wednesday, May 20, 2009 8:59 AM
To: Bill Seidel
Subject: Re: exchanger project
"I have had success locating a manufacturer with a VERY similar finned aluminum flat plate exchanger system. They are at www.Chart-ind.com. . . The exchanger director is looking into hooking me up with someone in the engineering dept to help with design and supply the plates for testing. This is a significant development that I am pleased to have found."

This proves he knew the prototype was his responsibility.  His claims to you are false.

Regarding #2, We discussed his patent and concept with a lot of companies including the largest companies specializing in dryer ducting.  The concept of a heat recovery appliance met with positive response but the concept he patented was wrought with problems (good idea, wrong execution).  The Agreement (as most agreements) supersedes things heard or said (and things thought to be heard or said).  All of the he said, she said comments he quotes are false and superseded by the
Agreement:

25. ENTIRE AGREEMENT. . . Any prior correspondence, memoranda or agreements or other oral
understandings are replaced and superseded by this Agreement." 

He refused to recognize the safety, code and warranty problems when we informed him. He made desperate claims that the codes will have to change and manufacturers will have to accept it.  He believed the safety regulations, buildings codes and even Underwriters Laboratory will change their policies and have to go along as he says:

From: Richard Brunner
Sent: Thursday, May 21, 2009 12:43 PM
To: Bill Seidel
Subject: FW: exchanger project
"Dryer manufacturers will have to go along with proven safety improvements which benefit homeowners. They can't just object to it once it is shown to work." 
"Richard

The truth is that his concept is a safety violation not a safety improvement and it is certainly not proven.  His product concept will not change building codes, safety regulations or warranties. His actions are unreasonable and in bad faith.  One of my many responses on this issue:

From: Bill Seidel
Sent: Friday, May 22, 2009 3:10 PM
To: Richard Brunner
Subject: FW: exchanger project
Yes they can and they will not go along with it. They are totally able to (and have) void their warranty when used in conjunction with any other products.  In fact their warranties have a limited liability clause now, warranty is void if used in conjunction with other products not Whirlpool approved. All of the refrigerator manufacturers issued statements and changed their warranty to any product that is used to alter the electrical flow will render the warranty void.  And this included electrical energy conserving products." 
"Bill

Regarding #3, There is no confusion: the codes, regulations and warranties are clear and Brunners patent problems are clear.  We suggested improvements and attempted to resolve the problem. The design we provided was at our cost.  We did what was agreed and went the extra mile researching the codes, attending trade shows and providing an alternate design in addition to contacting a variety of companies and engineers.  This is why he hired us.  However he is attempting to blame us for his patent, code, safety and warranty problems.  We were simply the messenger. 

He astounds me by saying Bill another patent?  This is bazaar for him to say in 2010 when in
2008 he agreed to improve his patent position:
From: rabat407@comcast.net [mailto:rabat407@comcast.net]
Sent: Thursday, February 07, 2008 1:15 PM
To: Bill Seidel
Subject: Something Else I Must Do
"Hi Bill,
It's come to my attention through you and confirmed in an inventor's discussion group that my patent is so narrow ("that I could drive a truck through it") that I'm going to have to reopen to make additions through the USPTO."
"Richard

He never did. Over and over, his e-mails at the time state the opposite of his report to you.  This makes his report to you fabricated after the fact and false. 

Regarding #4, There is no switch!  And there is no additional cost. He couldnt provide the prototype as agreed (breach) and asked us for an estimate. Our price was reasonable and he had a variety of prices as high as $37,000 so he understood the costs involved.  Now, in a convoluted manner he claims the estimate he requested is a switch scheme. 

Regarding #5, He agreed that all disputes would be Mediated and/or Arbitrated (Paragraphs 13 and 14), which he breached.  Arbitration for this would be based on the facts, the agreement and his e-mails and he is likely to lose.  I explained this to him and he claims it's intimidation. Compliance with the Agreement is not intimidation. 

He is obviously upset the BBB and the attorney generals threw out his complaint but he provided no facts, no evidence, no emails and we did.  He was in breach of the Agreement and we were not. 

Regarding #6, There is no bait and switch, no struggling and no deception.  This is total fabrication, fraud and intentionally filing known to be false complaints to two attorney generals offices.  

We accepted his project and offered a no cost, full-contingency agreement, which he rejected. We also offered lower price options which he also rejected.  It was his decision to pay us, not ours.

The great loss of development time resulted in nothing because it is not to code.  He abandoned his patent, as we predicted because he never took action to improve it as we recommended.  

Summary: In the course of our efforts we found that the patent was weak, it violated building and safety codes and voided manufacturers warranties.  Starting over is a hard pill to swallow and we tried to work with him.  He believed his design was the only answer, he refused to improve his patent situation and he thought the codes would change and manufactures would have to accept it.  Mr. Brunner was unreasonable, unrealistic and worked in bad faith. 

He also believed the sales forecasts to be in the billions for a concept that is illegal and unsafe.  With no prototype, no cost and no price there is no sales forecast - its impossible.  He is only fooling himself when he makes statements like this: 
From: rabat407@comcast.net [mailto:rabat407@comcast.net]
Sent: Wednesday, May 20, 2009 8:59 AM
To: Bill Seidel
Subject: Re: exchanger project
"Hi Bill,
"The annual sales forecasts are very suprising, and go right up to the Billions, with projections for higher levels of marketing support." 
"Richard

We were unable to reason with someone who had such unreal and unreasonable expectations. 

We have dealt with many brilliant inventors as well as some crazy ones.  Misrepresentations are very common. People claim they have a proven product when in fact they have no product and no prototype (this case exactly). They claim billion dollar markets when in truth there is no market (also true in this case). We cannot prevent them from misrepresenting their project, lying to us or lying to themselves (also true in this case).

Richard Brunners accusations were proven false and dismissed by two attorney generals and the Better Business Bureau.  When these three reputable authorities reviewed the agreement, the code violations and the correspondence, they threw out his complaint and dismissed it, in its entirety. Never a question and never a second thought, we were in the right and all accusations were repeatedly proven false and dismissed. 

This report has smeared our good name and me with false and bogus claims.  Mr. Brunner sent this report to you when he knew it to be false.  False reports like this damage any company and anyone can say anything with little consequence.  Remember what Mark Twain said about reading the newspaper also applies today to the internet:
If you dont read the newspaper you are uninformed.
If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed.

I thank you for considering the facts of this report on your web site.  

Sincerely,
Bill Seidel
Owner
America Invents, LLC  

References
[1] http://www.hcpdc.com/pdf/Dryer%20Vent%20Requirements.pdf
[2] http://www.ci.hugo.mn.us/vertical/sites/%7BBED5C6A0-2687-460F-9C61-6B7CCADA2CBA%7D/uploads/%7BA4123415-A8C8-493F-8689-2417C6567714%7D.PDF
[3] https://www.whirlpool.com/digitalassets/MLPD /Use%20and%20Care%20Guide%20-%208562113.pdf
[4] 12.OTHER EXPENSES.  Client may be responsible for other expenses not defined in Exhibit B
related to the Services in Exhibit A.  Other expenses may include:
a.  Prototypes, product samples or CAD files;

"The Codes are simple and straight forward: 
1 The exhaust duct cannot be obstructed (which Mr. Brunners concept does NOT TO CODE)
2. The exhaust duct must terminate outside of the building (Mr. Brunners concept causes the exhaust duct to terminate at his appliance NOT TO CODE)
3. The exhaust duct cannot have connectors (which Mr. Brunners concept does NOT TO CODE)
4. The exhaust duct cannot enter a plenum (which Mr. Brunners concept does NOT TO CODE)

"IMPORTANT: Observe all governing codes and ordinances.   Use a heavy metal vent. Do not use plastic or metal foil vent. Rigid metal vent is recommended to prevent crushing and kinking." 

"Failure to follow these instructions can result in death or fire. Improper venting can cause moisture and lint to collect indoors, which may result in: Moisture damage to woodwork, furniture, paint, Housecleaning problems and health problems.  https://www.whirlpool.com/digitalassets/MLPDF/Use%20and%20Care%20Guide%20-%208562113.pdf

"WHIRLPOOL DRYER WARRANTY ONE-YEAR FULL WARRANTY
"For one year from the date of purchase, when this dryer is operated and maintained according to instructions attached to or furnished with the product, Whirlpool Corporation will pay for FSP replacement parts and repair labor costs to correct defects in materials or workmanship. Service must be provided by a Whirlpool designated service company."
 
"Whirlpool Corporation will not pay for:
"1. Service calls to correct the installation of your dryer, including venting. Heavy 4" (10.2 cm) metal exhaust vent must be used. Refer to the venting section of this manual and your Installation Instructions.
"4. Damage resulting from accident, alteration, misuse, abuse, fire, floods, acts of God, improper installation (including, but not limited to, venting with plastic or flexible foil), installation not in accordance with local electrical and plumbing codes, or use of products not approved by Whirlpool Corporation or Whirlpool Canada Inc." 

"The Whirlpool Dryer Warranty, edited for brevity: The warranties are clear, it is void if: 
"1. Installation NOT TO CODE
"2. Product NOT TO CODE
"3. Dryer not plugged into wall outlet (Mr. Brunners appliance interrupts the electrical flow to the dryer NOT TO CODE) No manufacturers warranty will permit this. 

"International Mechanical Code 2006, Section 504 Exhaust Systems Code and commentary is taken from the 2006 International Mechanical Code and Commentary, Copyright 2007 by the International Code Council."

"The product must comply with codes, can be seen in its entirety here from Section 504: Clothes Dryer Exhaust and 504.4 Exhaust installation.  http://www.ci.hugo.mn.us/vertical/site /%7BBED5C6A0-2687-460F-9C61-6B7CCADA2CBA%7D/uploads/%7BA4123415-A8C8-493F-8689-2417C6567714%7D.PDF   http://www.iccsafe.org/Store/Pages/Product.aspx?id=3310X06
http://www.hcpdc.com/pdf/Dryer%20Vent%20Requirements.pdf

"Improperly installed clothes dryers are known to be a significant fire hazard, as 17,300 house fires were started by clothes dryers between 1999 and 2002 here in the United States, according to the January 2008 website of the National Fire Protection Association."

"Exhaust installation. (IMC 504.4) Dryer exhaust ducts for clothes dryers shall terminate on the outside of the building and shall be equipped with a backdraft damper. Screen shall not be installed at the duct termination. Ducts shall not be installed or connected with sheet metal screws or other fasteners that will obstruct the exhaust flow. Clothes dryer exhaust ducts shall not be connected to a vent connector, vent or chimney. Clothes dryer exhaust ducts shall not extend into or through ducts or plenums."

"1. Domestic Clothes Dryer Ducts. (IMC 504.6) Exhaust ducts for domestic clothes dryers shall be constructed of metal and shall have a smooth interior finish. The exhaust duct shall be a minimal nominal size of 4 inches in diameter."

"2. Transition Duct Connectors. (IMC 504.6) specifically addresses transition duct connectors. Within the context of this section, a transition duct is a flexible connector used as a transition between the dryer outlet and the connection point to the exhaust duct system. Transition duct connectors must be listed and labeled as transition ducts for clothes dryer applications. Transition ducts are currently listed to comply with UL 2158A Transition ducts are metalized (foil) fabric supported on a spiral wire frame. They are more fire resistant than the typical plastic spiral duct. Transition duct connectors are limited to 8 feet in length and must be installed in compliance with their listing and the manufacturers instructions. These duct connectors must not be concealed by any portion of the structures permanent finish materials such as drywall, plaster paneling, [e.g. flooring, ceiling, wall], built-in furniture or cabinets or any other similar permanently affixed building component; they must
remain entirely within the room in which the appliance is installed (Section G2439.5, International Fuel Gas Code, Chapter 24, 2006 IRC).

"4. Exhaust installation. (IMC 504.4) . . .  Ducts shall not be installed or connected with sheet metal screws or other fasteners that will obstruct the exhaust flow. Clothes dryer exhaust ducts shall not be connected to a vent connector, vent or chimney. Clothes dryer exhaust ducts shall not extend into or through ducts or plenums."
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