The invention submission company seeks $75,000

inventhelp_logo_09InventHelp yesterday filed a lawsuit against IPWatchdog, accusing owner and principle blogger Gene Quinn and his wife Renee with repeatedly posting “false, misleading” and “defamatory” comments.

InventHelp, aka Invention Submission Corp., says in its complaint filed in U.S. District Court in New York that it has “suffered economic damages in the loss and deterioration of its business” as the result of what Quinn posts on IPWatchdog.

Click to read the complaint

InventHelp seeks $75,000 in damages. It also wants IPWatchdog to stop posting what it considers disparaging remarks, to retract certain statements, and disclose the number of clients IPWatchdog has served who have successfully commercialized inventions using Quinn’s “Invent + Patent System.”

Through a federal settlement in the mid-1990s, InventHelp and similar invention-submission companies must make public how many inventors make more money in royalties than they pay in fees to said companies.

Critics say InventHelp offers template, cookie-cutter marketing services, over-the-top sales promises, and hooks naive inventors on an escalating series of services for higher fees.

InventHelp officials bristle at the accusations, noting other competitors have similar or worse success rates. InventHelp officials recently have told Inventors Digest that the company is working harder to improve the commercialization rate of its clients’ products, citing increasing expenditures on product infomercials among other examples.

InventHelp runs the INPEX trade show. Inventors Digest carries ads for the trade show. The publication carries IPWatchdog ads on its Web site.

InventHelp’s complaint wants “the recall and destruction of all materials within the control of IPWatchdog … which in any way falsely advertises and/or promotes the inventor assistance services of IPWatchdog.”

Reached today on his cell phone, Quinn called the complaint “ridiculous” and vowed to vigorously defend himself.

Moreover, he said the complaint opened an opportunity “to put InventHelp on trial.” He’s inviting any allegedly aggrieved InventHelp clients to contact him.

“I’m sure what I and many many others have said has injured them,” Quinn said. “But that doesn’t change fact that hundreds, if not thousands, of people have been abused at the hands of InventHelp.”

Bob Susa, head of InventHelp, declined to comment.

“I’m not comfortable commenting beyond what’s in the complaint,” he told Inventors Digest.

Quinn has sparred with InventHelp for several years in various posts.

One of the more explosive posts occurred in mid-October last year, when Quinn quit his vice-presidency and board position at the United Inventors Association, after the organization sent a membership offer through an InventHelp newsletter.

Specifically, Quinn was loathe to take part in a proposed “fact-finding” tour of InventHelp, a snub InventHelp cites in yesterday’s complaint as evidence against Quinn.