08 March 2006

Invention Promoton Companies: OFT issues warning

I have just received a very welcome email from the OFT (Office of Fair Trading). A news item has just appeared on the OFT website to the effect that it has warned the former directors of a now defunct Dublin based invention promotion company that it will take immediate steps against them should they not launch a new venture that contravenes our advertising and consumer protection laws.

Apparently, the OFT contacted the former company after receiving numerous complaints from consumers who had paid thousands of pounds for assistance in marketing their ideas and asked for undertakings as to future advertising and contract terms. These were not provided and the company ceased trading at the end of last year.

The OFT's advice to inventors is that free advice and assistance for inventors is available from the Patent Office, the Institute of Patentees and Inventors, and from inventors' organisations and inventors' clubs. It was to reduce such risk that the Huddersfield, Liverpool and Sheffield Inventors keep a list of reputable businesses and practices that provide useful and cost-effective services to inventors in m any cases free of charge or at substantial discounts.

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