Here is a perfect example of what I am referring to when I ask “Are You Giving Away Your Invention Ideas By Your Actions?” Inventors don’t READ what they sign up for and then later complain when it goes bad or they get rejected. Let me say up front I have no issue with the company used in this discussion. I am just using this as an example to prove a point.
Take a look at this statement you see before you even start to do anything with the company.
HAVE AN IDEA FOR THE NEXT GREAT TOOL?
We’re always redesigning and reimagining our tools, and we love it when customers tell us they have ideas about enhancements and additions to the X company. But there are important things you should know before you submit your idea.
Most importantly, we cannot consider your idea until you have FILED A PATENT TO PROTECT IT.
Once you have filed a patent application, you can use the following link to submit your idea. We’ll begin a review that can last approximately 90 days.”
Did you notice the part that says “Most importantly, we cannot consider your idea until you have FILED A PATENT TO PROTECT IT.”
My contact at the X company has said that about 60% of those that apply HAVE NOT filed a PPA or patent as required.
Now, once you go past this page you have another statement that says
“Before submitting you must agree to the following terms and conditions:”
“I confirm I have read, understood and accept the terms & conditions for submitting my invention.”
As we know a large majority don’t read this and just click the box and click NEXT.
Take a look at what you are agreeing to for those that did not READ it. Do you see any issues that will come up for those that did not file a PPA or patent as it stated?
“By using this invention submission form and website, you (“you”) agree to be bound by the terms of The X Company Non-Disclosure Agreement (“Agreement”) listed below. Before you may submit any invention information, you must read and accept this Agreement. Agreement is effective upon acceptance for new users and terms and conditions may be updated from time to time without notice to user.
You hereby acknowledge:
The X Company (“Company”) has found certain precautions necessary in accepting disclosures submitted to it. Its employees have many ideas of their own for the improvement of the X Company’s products and the development of new products, some of which may be similar to your own. To prevent any misunderstanding as to what the rights and obligations of the inventor and the X Company are, the X Company’s policies as to considering inventions are set forth below.
The X Company cannot agree to hold your disclosure in confidence because it must disclose the invention to various employees and sometimes even to those outside of its employ, to determine its value to the company, and because agreements to hold in confidence have been found to entail other obligations not intended by either the submitter or the X Company. It is understood, therefore that no confidential relationship or agreement to compensate is entered into by reason of the fact that the X Company is considering your disclosure.
A full written disclosure, preferably the patent application drawing and specifications, or if there are none, a sketch or drawing (which can be a rough one, provided it illustrates the invention so one skilled in the art can understand it), must be furnished to the X Company, so that the X Company can tell or not whether it will be interested in your invention.
The X Company is not under any obligation to reveal to you information of its own in the general or specified field to which the disclosure relates.
The X Company wishes you to be satisfied that your interests are fully safeguarded. If an application for a U.S. Patent has not been filed, you should have the copy of your drawings that you retain signed, dated and witnessed.
Any disclosure to the X Company is made on the understanding that the X Company assumes no obligation to do more than consider the disclosure so far as in its judgment the disclosure merits and to indicate whether or not the Company is interested. It is understood that you rely only in your rights under the patent laws.
The X Company receives no rights hereby, or as a result of considering this disclosure, under any patent rights you now have or may acquire to the subject matter of the disclosure.
The foregoing applies to any additional or supplemental disclosure relating to the same subject matter.”
Now the question is did you find anything in that agreement you would have a problem with if you did not file a PPA or patent? And once you fill out all the info required and submit it who is at fault if they use the information?
Inventors, do the boring work and READ what you sign.