Report: #238598

Complaint Review: Inventors Publishing & Research - San Francisco California

  • Submitted:
  • Updated:
  • Reported By: Orange County California
  • Inventors Publishing & Research 60 Spear St. 6th Floor San Francisco, California U.S.A.

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IP&R offered to provide its services to market our product, the "Power Key." This product can be seen at straightstrings. This product is complete and felt that we, the Power Key Company, did not have the expertise to market the product as necessary for reaching potential license opportunities. In particular, IP&R states that they have many connections that would allow them to secure a license much better than we ever could. Having been urged to take advantage of their services "now," October 2005, so that they could prepare for the tradeshows, we flew up to San Francisco. We felt that although they seemed a bit unorganized, that this was because they were very busy marketing and making people money.

We were told they would attend over 10 tradeshows, (over the phone on that one, in order to validate the large sum of money they charge,) create a professional brochure, create a research report, that they were experts in this area and they have done many sporting products. Ajay Gupta mentioned that tennis was going "up" and golf was on its way "down." We were told while in San Francisco that we could have a potential of a million dollars over a few years.

What we received was a list of 5 tradeshows, (while only 3 were attended with NO proof that they actually went,) a very poor brochure that was roughly a month late with spelling errors and elementary graphics taken from the brochure we gave them and from our website, a research report that was late, (which their contract says is the basis for the whole campaign,) and 2 performance surveys (which were to be 3) that were not even responded to. We had 5 or 6 or maybe even more Product Managers that never completely understood our product. They had horrible communication with us and did not follow through with the leads the way we would expect someone to. We expect if they received a "no" that they would try to explain to them or show them what the Power Key does, not just make a phone call and a marketing brochure at best. They contacted Nike in January, and called the contact the President, and later revised it to be a Product Manager or similar. We received an informal extension of 3 months and IP&R had still not gotten Power of Attorney from us to submit to Nike on our behalf.

We believe IP&R failed to perform the services they state, and misrepresented what it is that they actually are experts at. We are now in arbitration because they say they did some of the work, and would only offer us a partial refund. Their combined effort does not constitute a satisfactory fulfillment of the contract that we signed.

IP&R claims that they gave us monthly reports and went to the tradeshows, did the research report, and made the brochure. While these items were performed, they were late, of poor quality, and led to poor performance with no fair chance of obtaining a license through IP&R.

We paid them $15,062 having stopped paying them the full $19,500 because of their poor performance. The total campaign was to be $39,000, half from us, and half they would invest. We would receive 90% of the royalties, and IP&R, 10%.

They presented no documentation of any payments to tradeshows, time spent, or travel costs related to our campaign stating that they do not have to and because they have so many clients, that they can't. Also, that if we hired them hourly they would provide itemized information, but since we paid them a lump sum service fee, they would not. Even in our little company we keep track of all of our customers.

We lost out and are fighting back. Learn from us. You make your decision from reading our experience here. This is all truth and no bashing is being done here, only telling our side of the story. Any assumptions that have been made are our opinion based on fact. Everything is documented except for the telephone conversations for obvious reasons.

Orange County, California

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 03/08/2007 07:31 PM and is a permanent record located here: https://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/inventors-publishing-research/san-francisco-california-94105/ipr-inventors-publishing-research-amazing-innovations-absolutelynew-science-and-238598. 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. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#7 Consumer Comment


AUTHOR: Peter - (United States of America)

POSTED: Friday, March 09, 2012

Although AbsolutelyNew disagreed with my earlier posts; we were able to work out our differences. I am now satisfied with AbsolutelyNew's resolution of my invention project so that I would retract my earlier posts if this site allowed me to do so.

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#6 Consumer Comment


AUTHOR: Couldn''t stay quiet - (USA)

POSTED: Sunday, October 02, 2011

To all interested parties,

My name is Stephen Brown.  First, I  must say that this is a little embarrassing.  Before this experience I  considered myself to be a person not easily fooled.  I thought I had done my homework,  but in high en site I should have dug a little deeper. The information I needed to make a better decision was there had I just been more diligent.  In this day of the World Wide Web, its hard for anyone to hide for long from the bad things they've done. 

As is afforded to all,  per my first amendment right to freedom of speech, the following is a copy of the complaint I recently filed with the  USPTO.  It is my truthful account of my experience with the Invention Promotion Company currently know as AbsolutelyNew Inc.  I'm not saying that this will be your experience if you decide to hire them, but unfortunately it was mine.  I doubt I'm the only one. In fact I know I'm not. 

This complaint is being filed under the American Inventors Protection Act of 1999

DATE OF CORRESPONDENCE:             September 1, 2011
Name of the Invention Promotion Company: Absolutely New, Inc.                                    
Invention Promoters Address: 650 Townsend St., Suite 475, San Francisco, CA 94103  
Complainants Name: Stephen M. B                                               
Complainants Address: xxxx Cxxxx Ave.            
Customers Name: Stephen M. B
Name of mass media invention promoter advertised in: Unsolicited mass mailings.  
Invention promotion service offered to be performed:
Preparea Marketing Research Document, Prepare a Marketing Package, Represent  Invention at trade shows, Personally contact Potential Acquirers in attempt to obtain a sale, or licensing agreement.
Explanation of complaint between customer and invention promoter:
After receiving several letters over a two year period I decided to contact  Absolutely New to inquire about their services. I had extensive discussions with Dave Stickel about his company, and was emailed a contract to consider on February 8th 2011.  The reasons I decided to hire this company was because of their promise to represent my products at trade shows around the country and to present them to manufacturers for a possible licensing deal.  Specifically I was assured that if I
enlisted their services right away they would be able to include my products in their booth at the Chicago House Wares Show on March 7th-12th.  I was told that this was the most important show of the year for my type of products which are designer beddings for children: www.pantplanet.com

When I made my decision to hire Absolutely New I was asked by Dave Stickel to sign the signature page of the contract he had emailed me and fax it to him which I did.  The following week I took a trip to San Francisco to see the company in person and deliver a check. Dave Stickel introduced me to Serena Soo.  She was the project coordinator that would be handling my products.  I was again assured by Serena that she personally would be taking my products to the Chicago trade show in a couple of weeks.  She said she would not have time to prepare my marketing materials for the show but would take the samples and brochures that I had provided to her.  Before I left Dave Stickel  gave me two more copies of the signature page to sign so that we both would
have an original copy.  A few days later I received a hard copy of the contract in the U.S. mail which I put in a file.

The Monday following the Chicago show I left Serena Soo a voice mail asking how the show went. In response she sent me an email saying that the show went well and that she had spoken to several companies about my products and  that they were intrigued.  She said that she told them she would be following up with them in the next few weeks once she had finished my marketing materials.  It was during the preparation of thesemarketing materials that the problems began.

Serena Soo sent me a draft of the concept sheet that looked like it was prepared by a third grader. I know photoshop so I fixed it myself and sent it back.  I was then told  that this one page concept sheet was in fact going to be the entire marketing package.  I decided to look at the contract that I had been sent via U.S. mail to see if Serena was giving me the marketing package as promised in the agreement.  The contract said that Absolutely New would prepare a marketing package that would include a one page full-color product concept sheet as well as any other
photographs, designs, and illustrations that ANI deems to enhance the marketability of the invention.  This clearly implies the package would be more than just the one page concept sheet.  The details of my bedding designs are numerous, and additional photographs and
illustrations would have most definately enhanced the marketability.

It was at this time I discovered that a paragraph had been added to this hard copy of the contract I received in the U.S. mail that was not part of the original contract Dave Stickel had sent me by email.  The added paragraph had information describing the companies track record. When I saw this information I grew even more concerned because the track record was not what I considered impressive and was in direct contrast to the representations Dave Stickel had made during our initial phone calls before signing the contract. Despite my growing concerns, which I voiced to both Dave Stickel and Serena Soo, I decided to give Serena a chance to send out this so called marketing package to prospective potential manufacturers.  She tried to assure me she knew what she was doing and that I had to let go of my baby and trust her.

Five weeks later, now into the first week of May, I sent her an email requesting an update.  I was supposed to have received a quarterly report by now but had not.  I was curious to see how her follow up went with the companies she said had expressed interest at the Chicago Show as well as any progress with other potential manufactures. In response Serena Soo sent
me a Quarterly Report for March.  Inthe report, which covered five weeks, she had only listed four manufacturers that she had attempted to contact regarding my products.  According to the report, only one out of the four companies had even received my so-called marketing materials. 
Additionally there was no mention in the report ofany follow up with the companies she claimed had expressed interest at the Chicago Trade Show. When I spoke to her over the phone about the report she told me that those companies from the Chicago Show had passed on my products. 
When I pressed her for the details and asked why this information was not included in the March Report she was evasive and I felt she was lying.  She even hung up on me twice.  This was the last straw.  I told her to stop all her efforts, which wasnt much anyway, until I got some answers.

I decided to call the people that ran the Chicago Show and discovered that Serena Soo had never attended the trade show.  A badge had been reserved in her name but was never paid for or picked up.  I also did some research and discovered that the paragraph which had been added to my contract by Dave Stickel was a disclosure required by California statutes as well as the American Inventors Protection Act of 1999.  According to the California Business & Professions Code 22379 & 22381 as well as 35 U.S.C. 297(a) this information was supposed to be disclosed to me in writing upon first oral communication, as well as written in the contract.

After being ignored for two weeks by Dave Stickel and Serena Soo, in my attempt to resolve these problems, I finally requested in writing to see all records and correspondence regarding the efforts made to market my products.  According to my contract this information was suppose to be made available to me within 7 days of written notice.  This clause was never honored despite my repeated request to see the documents. 

I was finally was put in contact with Tony Flores, the general council for Absolutely New.  He looked into the contract issue regarding Dave Stickels actions.  He confirmed that Dave had purposely tampered with my contract by deleting the paragraph with the required disclosures from the original emailed to me, and then attempted to sneak it back into the hard copy that was sent to me by U.S. mail. He told me that Dave was a rogue employee and that he had been fired. 

With regards to Serena Soo and the Chicago trade show, I was told by Richard Donat the CEO that Serena was claiming that she had never told  me she was going to Chicago.  Donat said Im sorry but this is a He said She said situation even after I presented him with a copy of her email that she sent me upon her supposed return from Chicago.  The last day of the show was Saturday March 12th.  The following is an excerpt from the email that was sent to me by Serena on Tuesday March 15th in response to a phone message I left for her on Monday March 14th, in which I asked how her trip to Chicago went:


The Chicago show went well; the companies were open to looking at products and new products for next season.  When I spoke to companies about your product they were intrigued, and I told them I would follow up in the next few weeks once the concept sheet is complete.  Once the concept  sheet is complete, I will begin the marketing. 

I have other emails on the subject that I did not present to Absolutely New that suggest she was not being truthful.  After my phone call with her in which we discussed the March Quarterly Report,  I sent her several emails requesting to see details of her correspondence with the companies from the Chicago Show she claimed to have spoken to.  I wanted the names of personell she had spoken to, times and dates, and copies of emails, rejection letters etc. etc. from these companies.  In her email responses she never once said I did not go to Chicago, only that she would give me this information in my next quarterly report.  It was only after I told Flores that I had contacted the people in Chicago and knew Serena was not there that she began denying that she had ever told me she was going in the first place. 

It is my belief that Mr. Donat was covering for her because she was directed by her supervisors to mislead me.  Why would she lie to me on her own accord about attendance at a trade show? I had requested in writing to see proof of the correspondence with the companies she claimed to have spoken to about my products while in Chicago. If she were being truthful she must have had emails to back up these claims.  Nothing was ever provided.  I believe because they did not exist.

Tony Flores and Richard Donat then gave me the choice of a full refund of the fee that I had paid or the opportunity to enter into a new marketing agreement and in the same breath,  told me that their retail division had a serious interest in my products from Bed Bath & Beyond and that Absolutely New would want to discuss a licensing agreement if the interest solidified into a purchase order.

At this point I did not know what to believe.  Absolutely New was asking me to forgive the apparent fraud by Dave Stickel, Serena Soo was now calling me a liar, Richard Donat appeared to be covering for her, my written request was not being honored, and now Bed Bath & Beyond was supposedly interested in my products. 

I told Mr. Flores that I had lost all trust in Absolutely New & in order to make a decision as to how I would proceed that I would have to verify all statements from him and the CEO Richard Donat.  I requested proof of Dave Stickels termination, proof of the interest from Bed Bath & Beyond, and again proof that Serena Soo had done the work she claimed to have done in her March Report. 

The only document I got from them was regarding Dave Stickel. They refused to give me the other documents I requested unless I agreed to enter a new contract.  I was entitled to this information per the current contract. Why would I have to enter a new contract to get it?  I was requesting it in order to give Absolutely New the opportunity to regain my trust, and to verify if they were telling the truth about anything. 

After getting nowhere for several weeks, I sent them a letter demanding to be made whole by reimbursing me for all monies that I had spent as a result of my association with their company.  I wanted reimbursement of the $20,630.00 fee plus interest, all samples I had given them, attorneys fees I had incurred, and travel expenses. I also requested compensation for 6 months of lost time.  In all I was asking for $36,761.00.

Absolutely New sent me a check for much less than I was asking for along with a letter full of mis characterizations of the circumstances that were frankly, insulting and not true.  I sent them back a letter saying such, and that my demand for damages stands. Over the next couple of weeks I discovered that Absolutely New had just lost a patent infringement suit and were currently involved in a trademark infringement lawsuit.  The details of these cases are shocking and can be viewed by all by going to the following links on the internet. 

New Angle Pet Products Inc. vs Absolutely New Inc.;


Invent World Wide Consulting LLC vs. Absolutely New Inc.


I also discovered that they were on a suspended status with the California Secretary of State since May 2nd and were not maintaining a Surety Bondas required by California law.  This information is all available over the internet. When I found out all of this information I decided that I should go ahead and cash the check that they had sent, even though I had rock solid evidence of fraud and many counts of breach of contract that I could have used to win a lawsuit.  A judgment from a lawsuit will do you no good if a company is insolvent or is not maintaining the required Surety Bond to collect against.

It has also come to my attention that Absolutely New was a sister company with Inventors Publishing & Research.  IP&R has had numerous complaints with the USPTO. Tony Flores, Dave Stickel and CEO Richard Donat all worked for IP&R.  It is my opinion, and experience that Absolutely New Inc. can not be trusted and I would recommend everyone to stay away.

My phone number is 818-445-1746 and I will accept phone calls from anyone who has questions about the details of my experience with Absolutely New.

Signed:   Stephen M B                                                                                                     
Date:  September 1st,  2011

Well, that's what happened.  There have been some new developments since I filed this complaint with the USPTO. I will share those with you at a later date.  I will be the first to tell you not to believe most of  what you read on the internet, but this my friends has been the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth so help me god!


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#5 Consumer Comment


AUTHOR: Peter - (United States of America)

POSTED: Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Filed against : 
AbsolutelyNew, Inc.
650 Townsend St Ste 475 
San Francisco CA 94103-6225

Complaint Description:
We are requesting a full refund of our contract "fees". This request is based on the fact that Absolutely New has breached our contract. Specifically, Absolutely New has failed to comply with our agreement with regard to the following sections of our contract: 1) Absolutely New breached our contract according to the Marketing Agreement signed and dated November 30, 2010. Section 3 (sub-section 3.2 titled Installment Terms) is an agreement that requires my partner and I to execute a separate agreement allowing ANI to automatically withdraw the payment on the specified due date from a credit card or checking account over which the client has control ANI did not offer or require us to sign a separate agreement to pay our fees. 2) "Schedule 1 - Services" (Item #4): We were not given a virtual model within 45 days. We have not been given a virtual model as of the end of the contract. Not making the model available, as part of the package that was sent to the potential acquirers was seriously detrimental to the success of acquiring a licensing agreement. This is a direct material breach of contract. Our concept sheet was not completed until mid February 2011 this is a breach of the contract limitations. Our assigned Product Manager Christina Lett left the employment of Absolutely New, and delayed the final concept sheet. While Christina was our lead contact she ignored several calls, messages, and requests. In addition, Absolutely New made errors by disregarding changes to the concept sheet that we put in writing. ANI simply overlooked our editing changes; this further delayed the project. Serena Soo took over as our lead contact. We asked her to make changes to the concept sheet and we received resistance. We brought this to the attention of ANIs legal counsel, and we were given an emphatic apology for their oversight and mistakes. 3) "Schedule 1 - Services" (Item #5, #6, #7): In this schedule it states, "...ANI shall perform the following Marketing Tasks beginning forty five (45) days after the Effective Date... We were told several times by Absolutely New that they would be attending "...several trade shows on our behalf... and would specifically represent our invention at these shows. As of this day, we have received no written reports that confirm our invention was represented at ANY trade show. The only confirmation that Absolutely New has attended any trade show on our behalf are verbal comments from Absolutely New staff stating they represented our product at one trade show; the "PGA trade show". We explained to ANI during several phone conversations, and in face-to-face meetings that the "PGA" trade show was not an appropriate venue for our invention. ANI agreed, and said that they would be attending several other trade shows on our behalf, however this has not occurred. In your email today you cited two additional breaches that we did not note in previous emails. The first quarterly report we received was in May - this delivery was untimely, and is a breach of our contract. At your own admission, we have not received the second quarterly report as of the drafting of this email. This is an additional breach of contract. Our contract ended June 1, 2011, therefore; ANI breached our contract by not supplying our report.

Your Desired Resolution:
We feel the breaches of contract noted above are sufficient to warrant a refund of our fees. We are open to any meaningful discussion that will enable us to reach a reasonable and fair resolution to this matter. 

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#4 Author of original report

You can still contact me about IP&R and their aka's.

AUTHOR: Scott - (U.S.A.)

POSTED: Saturday, June 16, 2007

Please contact me at the website provided in the first post. If I am bold enough enough to stand up to these companies, then I imagine I can handle a few unsolicited emails. Apologies since they deleted my email on the previous post.

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#3 Author of original report

Contact me about IP&R - Inventors Publishing & Research - Amazing Innovations - AbsolutelyNew - Science And Technology ripoff We got nothing for our money from IP&R. San Francisco California

AUTHOR: Scott - (U.S.A.)

POSTED: Saturday, June 16, 2007

Hi, anyone reading this who is a victim of IP&R or the other names in the title, please go send an email to (((ROR REDACTED E-MAIL ADDRESS FRO SECURITY PURPOSES))).

Help beat invention crime and fraud with this company and email me.
I have connections to help you develop your product, but also to guide you in your invention quest from the good guys in the industry.

CLICK here to see why Rip-off Report, as a matter of policy, deleted either a phone number, link or e-mail address from this Report.

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#2 Consumer Comment

IP & R operating under a different name

AUTHOR: Kathy - (U.S.A.)

POSTED: Saturday, June 16, 2007

Hi, the IP & R company is now operating under the name of Amazing Innovations out of San Fransisco.

Amazing Innovations has tried to get my father(an inventor) to do business with them in the past back when they were IP & R.

Whenever IP & R sent dad letters trying to get his business, we always threw their mail in the trash. Now we are throwing away the mail from Amazing Innovations.

Web sites like Rip Off Report and the BBB really help people like my dad and I research companies before doing any business with the many companies forever contacting us for our business.

Thank you for your report and I wish you luck in winning your fight against IP&R.

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#1 Author of original report

Post Hearing Update to P&R - Inventors Publishing & Research - Amazing Innovations - AbsolutelyNew - Science And Technology ripoff We got nothing for our money from IP&R. San Francisco California

AUTHOR: Scott - (U.S.A.)

POSTED: Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Took the company to Arbitration through the AAA. I learned that AAA is a dispute resolution service. They don't really get you what you deserve. We met the company in San Francisco for arbitration, and from our experience, their lawyer and witnesses were not being truthful. We experienced the falsehoods, so we know when they were lying under oath. We selected our arbitrator because he had experience in "false advertising." Well, he ignored the American Inventors Protection Act, and ignored the obvious attempts by IP&R's counsel to lead the witnesses and tell lies to the lawyer. Slimy folks, pure slime in that company... of course, that is our opinion. AAA would not take responsibility and of course the lawyer would not either for the lack of applying the AIPA. In addition, the arbitrators reward letter was riddled with errors of fact, showing that he obviously did not read our evidence in its entirety. The arbitrator, a patent lawyer, also works only a block from IP&R. We know this was about social aspects working in the same industry and locale. There is more that goes on than most realize. We thought we could get a fair hearing through AAA. In reality, AAA depends on the companies who put the Arbitration clause in their contract. Thus, if arbitrators award money to plaintiffs all of the time, then the companies will stop giving business to them. GO FIGURE! Nice business model right?

Screw the ones who need the protection, so you can keep the cash flowing from the crooks.

In the final brief, we told our story and even found more evidence against them. However, not being lawyers, we were not good enough to bad mouth them like they did to us. They are crooks. They admitted to poor performance, but that they did deliver their minimums to us. So there you have it. Sign up with IP&R or another slime ball company, and if it says all they have to do is "x" then don't expect to get anything more than the minimum.

We ended up not having to pay them anymore money, but all in all we only saved $2,000. We paid them $15,062, and another $2500 to fight them through AAA. We are still looking at options, but we know they are all criminals in our mind.

Stay away from Inventors Publishing & Research, and any others on Market Street, Spear Street, or other companies alike.

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