Monday, October 1, 2007

Firm invented 60M scam, say feds

From the Daily News:

It's a challenge to transform an invention from an idea to a product on a store shelf. Just recently, a federal judge ordered the operators of multiple questionable invention promotion firms to pay $60 million in connection with a scheme that defrauded 17,000 inventors.

The judge ruled this month that Julian Gumpel, Darrell Mormando, Michael Fleisher and Greg Wilson violated a 1998 court order that barred them from misrepresenting the services they offered to amateur inventors. He described their most recent venture, the Patent & Trademark Institute, as a "grand con game to take money away from consumers."

PTI operated through several corporate entities, including Azure Communications Inc. and London Communications Inc., United Licensing Corp., International Patent Advisors Inc., Datatech Consulting Inc., International Product Marketing Inc., and Unicorp Consulting Inc.

For fees of $895 to $1,295, PTI and its related businesses promised to evaluate the marketability and patentability of inventors' ideas. But the firms gave virtually all inventions positive evaluations, so the assessments were meaningless, the Federal Trade Commission reported....MORE