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Americans are renowned for our Yankee ingenuity. We seem to love to tinker, create and invent. When someone does invent something new, they quite rightly want to get it registered and promoted. That's when they turn to Invention Promotion Firms. BE CAREFUL! There are some things you can do to protect yourself and make sure that you are dealing with a legitimate firm:

(1) When you begin dealing with them, find out the total cost and get it in writing. If they are not willing to tell you how much you'll wind up paying, you should worry.

(2) Find out from them the entire process they use for evaluation, registration and promotion. If they are not willing to disclose this, be worried. Legitimate firms are willing to provide copies of their evaluations and methods.

(3) Insist they check for existing patents before beginning a promotion effort. You might expend large amounts of money and then find that you are guilty of patent infringement. If there is no patent you should seek out a patent attorney.

(4) Find out the companies success and failure rates before you do business with them. Few inventions actually make it to the marketplace, so high success rates should worry you. Also, if they claim special relationships with manufacturers, you should be able to substantiate those claims.

If a company doesn't pass any one of these tests, you should probably beware and find another firm.

Laura Bell is Freelance Writer and owner of www.bellbusinessreport.com. The Bell Business Report offers common sense business advice and how-to info for running your business. It takes the everyday headlines apart, dealing with business news, and shows you how to put that information to work for you.

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