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Inventor Assistance

For Inventor Assistance, please complete our online registration form.  Once we have received your registration, a business counselor will contact you to arrange an appointment. Please be aware that completing the registration form provides protection for you for the information you share regarding your invention.

Please note:  Although we have several JD’s on staff, the counselors at the Alabama SBDC Network are not lawyers and do not provide legal advice.  Should you need legal advice, we would be glad to provide you with a list of attorneys in your area.

Description of our services :
1) Coaching/Guidance throughout the inventing process
2) Basic Patent, trademark, trade secret, copyright information
3) University, engineering, attorney, and prototyping connections.
4) Alabama patent attorney list.
5) Financing sources (extremely limited for inventors).
6) Reputable evaluation sources (all sources provided are associated with Universities.)
7) What to say to increase the chance of you getting a meeting and then making a deal with a company.

Cost? — There is no charge for this service if you are located in Alabama and qualify as a small business.

WHAT ABOUT INVENTION COMPANIES?
When our clients ask us about using one of the many “invention companies” that advertise online and on television, we provide the following two comments:

  1. What does the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) say about Invention Promotion Companies in Alabama?
  2. What do Alabama SBDC Network counselors say about invention promotion companies?
    “I have yet to talk with a client that didn’t feel swindled after dealing with one of these companies.”
    “If an invention company thinks your idea is that great, why don’t they invest some of their money in your idea?”

Invention assistance and product development consulting is available from both questionable and reputable sources. Always do your homework and check the company’s record before proceeding.  Start by checking: Bureau of Consumer ProtectionFederal Trade CommissionBetter Business Bureau, a local Chamber of Commerce, a local Inventors Organization, your local SBDC counselor.

KEY DOCUMENTS FOR INVENTORS IN ALABAMA

  1. Non-Disclosure Agreement
  2. How to Write the Pitch
  3. University-based evaluation services
  4. Marketing Assumptions to Avoid (in your pitch, and in your plan)
  5. The Inventor Checklist