Over the last couple months regular readers of IPWatchdog.com have probably noticed some changes to the site. One of the most prominent changes is the addition of Lambert Licensing as an advertiser. Initially Lambert Licensing advertised on a few pages, and then they became a site-wide advertiser. Increasingly, we are getting calls from inventors asking us about Lambert Licensing and more and more of our own clients ask about them and are referred to them. It seems that savvy inventors know the innovation and patent industry is full of companies that are not reputable, so we get asked what our opinion is of Lambert Licensing and whether they are reputable, or whether they are just paying for placement. I am happy to let everyone know that I do believe Lambert Licensing to be reputable and that in my opinion they adhere to the highest ethics in the industry.
As many know, I am a member of the Board of Directors of the United Inventors Association. Being a part of the UIA has lead me to meet some good people in the innovation and patent community, including Trevor Lambert. I first met Trevor in an official way when we were both in Charlotte, North Carolina, back in March 2009. The United Inventors Association sponsored the creation of a 10 part mini-series covering all aspects of inventing, protecting innovations, taking innovations to market and making money from your invention. The series turned out excellent, thanks to the work of UIA Executive Director Patrick Raymond, the studios and technicians provided by Everyday Edisons and the talents of Emmy Award winning reporter (and author of Gadget Nation) Steve Greenberg playing the role of moderator. Trevor and I both participated, albeit in different episodes, and we chatted over the several days we were in Charlotte, getting to know each other a bit.
Several months ago, when I set out to find businesses I trust to advertise on IPWatchdog.com, one of the first people I contacted was Trevor. I reached out to him to gauge his interest and to learn more about his business and how Lambert Licensing approaches working with inventors. Everything I have learned about Lambert Licensing makes me extremely comfortable, and in fact quite proud, to have them as an advertiser on IPWatchdog.com.
The way that Lambert Licensing operates is by providing licensing services to inventors. Here is how their website describes their services:
Lambert Licensing, simply put, is the bridge between your invention and the manufacturers who want your invention. Through our team of specialists we provide the information, resources, and contacts necessary to get your invention in the hands of these important people.
The best part about it is that our service is virtually FREE! All that you pay is the initial evaluation fee. If we come to the conclusion that your invention is indeed a great one, the rest of the licensing process is on us. This includes the cost of all our hours spent developing your invention, the marketing material, travel, presentations, legal expenses…everything.
The only time that we get paid is when you receive royalties from a licensing agreement. From that point our share of licensing revenue is 25-30% and so the inventor’s share is 70-75%.
One of the reasons I am comfortable recommending people to Lambert Licensing is because they work on a contingency basis, which means they do not make money unless the inventor makes money. That being the case, they are quite selective with respect to who they work with. If they do not think they can help you they do not take you on as a client. There are a variety of reasons why they might not take on a project. For example, even if your invention is a good one if they do not believe it is up their alley (my words, not theirs) they will decline to work with the client.
The truth is that in the innovation and patent space reputable people tend to focus on certain things, and become specialized in those things. So there will be some things that are right in their “wheelhouse” (again my characterization) and other things that might not be. The same is true with patent attorneys and agents as well. My particular speciality is software, Internet applications and computer systems and methods. I also handle electrical and mechanical inventions, as do most patent attorneys and agents. I do not, however, do any biotech, chemical or pharmaceutical work. Biology and Chemistry and not in my comfort zone, and it would be unfair for me to take such work. Who would want an electrical and computer engineer working on that stuff anyway, right? So the same thing applies to others in the innovation and patent industry.
Another reason I think highly of Lambert Licensing is because they turn away a lot of inventors they just don’t think they can help. I have even referred some of my own inventor clients to them, and they said they didn’t think they had strong enough familiarity with the segment to help the client. Anyone in this industry can say YES to you and your invention. Few will say NO, and that is the major problem with invention promotion companies who never say NO. If you find a professional in this industry who actually says they are not interested in working with you it is because they are reputable. In the industry we say that invention promotion companies never see an invention that isn’t worth pursuing. This is sadly true even when a legitimate patent search would demonstrate the invention is already patented, or when the potential market is so small that there would be little hope recouping funds invested into the project. In my experience a tell-tale sign of a scam is a company that says YES to everyone, and Lambert Licensing is not like that.
Lambert Licensing also has a proven track record of success. They have successfully placed inventions on the market and into such retail giants as Target, Wal-Mart, John Deere, Toys ‘R Us, Babies ‘R Us, Williams Sonoma and Crate & Barrel.
If you are interested in working with Lambert Licensing they will charge you a small evaluation fee, and then provide you with a thorough work-up and analysis of your invention. See Invention Evaluation Process. This fee covers the administrative expense to complete the research and write the evaluation and also ensures to Lambert Licensing that the inventor is serious about moving forward with their invention. From time to time I have heard that some think this makes them a scam. I am hear to definitively tell you that is not the case. Those who do not charge anything up front are likely the scams, not those who charge a fee up front. Of course, this is a general rule and I am sure there are people who charge no fees up front that are reputable, but in my experience if you want a quality service you need to pay for it. If you want a real and objective evaluation you should pay for it, and not rely on a “free” opinion.
Free opinions are valued at what you pay for them, and exceptionally likely to conclude that you should move forward. There is simply no way that a reputable service provider could provide a free work-up and analysis to everyone for free. If you are honest with yourself, the evaluation you get from Lambert Licensing is worth more than what you pay. It will explain to you where the strengths and weaknesses are, and give you valuable information. I can tell you with certainty that such evaluations are extremely helpful. As is the case with a patent search, if there is little reason to expect success why move forward and throw good money after bad?
In closing, Lambert Licensing is a member of the United Inventors Association and has undergone an extensive review to become a Certified Professional Member. I know that to be the case because I am the Chair of the Professional Membership Committee. They are one of the good guy companies in the industry, and you should feel comfortable contacting them for assistance.