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By J.D. Houvener
Patent Attorney and Founder

JD: Can I just stop paying my invention company, InventHelp? They’re not doing what they said they would. My daughter pays InventHelp $400 a month for nothing, and they’re not performing. Can she quit paying?

JD: Heartbreaking. You know, we speak with quite a few inventors who are dropouts, looking to transition their work to our firm. Quick note: I don’t want to bash any company, but since InventHelp is mentioned in the question, I’ll address it. I believe InventHelp is not a law firm, which is an important distinction. You’ve got invention brokers, patent brokers, invention promotion companies, and that type of thing. They may not be the right fit for many individuals and entrepreneurs. The first step should be working with a lawyer to get a legal opinion on the patentability of your invention and to determine if it is different from what else is out there.

JD: This question is tough because it sounds like you’re locked into a contract. I can’t speak to that contract since I don’t have it in front of me. It will depend on how the contract is spelled out. There may be ways to remedy or terminate your agreement if there’s non-performance. What I would recommend is to contact me, and I can find a business attorney who can help you with potential litigation or settlement on that cost. Here’s my email address.

JD: Any thoughts on that, Matt?

Matt: No, not in particular. I think you nailed it.

Matt: I would suggest talking to a business attorney and getting them to write a letter stating that the contract is not valid or to help you get out of it. It sounds like one of those situations where you bought a condo or a timeshare and now need to get out of it. Some of these patent services people offer on a monthly basis can be suspect, just like some SEO companies. They promise to optimize your SEO for a monthly fee but often do little after the initial work.

About the Author
J.D. Houvener is a Registered USPTO Patent Attorney who has a strong interest in helping entrepreneurs and businesses thrive. J.D. leverages his technical background in engineering and experience in the aerospace industry to provide businesses with a unique perspective on their patent needs. He works with clients who are serious about investing in their intellectual assets and provides counsel on how to capitalize their patents in the market. If you have any questions regarding this article or patents in general, consider contacting J.D. at https://boldip.com/contact/