As with most endeavors, invention help and product development assistance is available from both questionable and reputable sources. If in doubt as to the record of a company, check references carefully.
Some organizations that you can contact to learn more about any product development firm are:
a local Chamber of Commerce
a local Inventors Organization
"Some people try to sell their idea or invention to a manufacturer that would market it and pay royalties. But finding a company to do that can be difficult. As an alternative, others use the services of an invention promotion firm. Indeed, some inventors pay thousands of dollars to firms that promise to evaluate, develop, patent, and market inventions... and then do little or nothing for their fees." Please click the link above to read more.
As part of the American Inventors Protection Act of 1999, the USPTO provides a public forum for the complaints concerning invention promotion firms, as well as responses to those complaints from the accused firms. Please click the link above to learn more about scam prevention from the USPTO.
The National Congress of Inventors Organizations, a national association for local organizations provides articles and bulletins regarding invention development firms in their Scam Busters section. To read about the warning signs regarding invention scams and the latest news on invention promotion firms please click the link above.
The United Inventors Association is a useful resource for any inventor looking to start, find or register an inventor club. Local inventor clubs can provide personal accounts regarding different invention promotion firms. The UIA also provides lists of books and publications inventors may find useful. For members, the UIA also provides and maintains a Resource Room full of documents, articles, and videos all about the process of inventing. To learn more about the various resources provided by the United Inventors Association, please click the link above.
According to their website, "Free inventors help is a non-commercial site that has scam-free information for inventors on patents, attorneys, prototypes, marketing, manufacturing and above all avoiding scams for their inventions."
"What Every Entrepreneur Should Know about the U.S. Patent System (Part 1)" by Edward Evans.