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Archived updates for Thursday, April 20, 2006

Invention Promotors Ordered to Pay $26 Million

According to a press release from the USPTO, invention promotion operationDavison & Associates Inc., now known as Davison Design and Development, Inc., and Manufacturer's Support Services have been ordered by L. Lancaster of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania to pay $26 million for consumer redress and to provide any future clients with a 10-point disclosure statement to allow them objectively to measure the value of the defendants' assistance.

“This outfit is typical of invention promotion scams,” said Lydia Parnes, Director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection. “They touted their ability to turn inventors' ideas into profitable products, but fewer than one percent of the customers who invested in their services got royalties from their patents that amounted to more than they paid the promoters. ”

In a complaint filed by the FTC as part of “Project Mousetrap,” the agency charged that the company used Internet ads and classified ads to lure inventors across the country to sign up for their services. The agency charged that they made false claims about their selectivity in choosing products to promote, false claims about their track record in turning inventions into profitable products, and false claims about the relationship they had with manufacturers. They deceptively claimed that their income came from sharing royalties with inventors rather than from the $800 to $12,000 fees they charged inventors.
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