1983 - Volume #7, Issue #3, Page #20[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
An Inventor's Service That's Really FreeOperators of inventors' services that charge an up-front fee to evaluate a new idea before any attempt is made to market it have been convicted of fraud in many states. In states where they are allowed to operate, they rarely, if ever, produce revenue for an inventor.
But now there is a new inventors' service that doesn't cost a cent unless a market is found for the invention. Worldtech, a new service developed by Control Data Corp., works with inventors on a non-exclusive basis so that even though you may submit an idea to the company for evaluation and possible sale, you can continue on your own to try to sell or develop the invention.
Control Data, a multi-national company which operates in 35 countries, has been involved with inventors for several years through their unique worldwide computerized listing of new inventions which was first featured in FARM SHOW six years ago. Attempting to find markets for new ideas was the next logical step, according to Worldtech marketing coordinator Connie Hansen.
"In our first months of operation, we've received inventions ranging from a new-style crutch and a new design in garbage cans to new technologies for the aerospace industry. We have experts in nearly all fields, including agriculture, who evaluate inventions which are brought to us," says Hansen.
Here's how the service works: First, a prototype of the invention should be built and, while it's not necessary to patent the idea, it must be proved that it will work. Second, the value orneed for the invention must be demonstrated. Third, the idea must be transferable to a buyer who may want to manufacture or develop the invention.
If an inventor meets these conditions, a contract is drawn up that sets a realistic selling price for the invention, the terms and conditions for a transfer of the idea if a sale is made, and liability protection for a prospective buyer of the invention who may have already been working on a similar invention. From there, the idea is listed on Control Data's worldwide computer network and Worldtech sales representatives begin contacting prospective buyers. A monthly notice is sent to each inventor detailing each contact made. An inventor can accept or reject any offer and the contract with Worldtech can be cancelled at anytime.
Once a sale is finalized and payments begun to an inventor, a commission is paid to Worldtech. If the net amount of royalties or licensing fees paid to the inventor is under $5,000, the commission ranges as high as 50% of the amount. If the invention yields over $10,000,000 in revenue, the fee is $740,000 plus 3% of the net amount.
"While we are looking for markets for an idea, the inventor is free to try to sell the idea on his own, negotiating his own deals with other manufacturers," explains Hansen.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Control Data Worldtech, 7600 France Ave. S., Edina, Minn. 55435 (ph 612 893-4650).
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