About The Book



The Inventor Trap was written with two purposes in mind:

 1. To tell inventors the truth about the invention industry which harms almost every inventor who utilizes it.


2. To show inventors the fastest and least expensive path to success or "failure".

I place "failure" in quotations because if an invention isn't going to be profitable, knowing that sooner than later is a very good thing, and not really a failure at all. Succeeding or failing quickly is a theme of The Inventor Trap borne from seeing so many inventors needlessly spend years and many thousands of dollars on something that was doomed from the beginning.

Just as bad or worse, is another category of inventor who did have a market worthy invention, but their chances of genuinely transforming it from an invention and into a product were ruined by the dishonest "efforts" of unscrupulous invention promoters and their associated patent attorneys and other providers of largely useless and ridiculously overpriced "services".

This book shows the inventor what to do right and (how & why), and explains too what most inventors do wrong and how to avoid the traps others have fallen into. For those inventors who've already fallen into the many traps discussed in the book, the way out is charted.  For these reasons, the content of this book is the singularly the most important information to be found on the subject of inventing and bringing a product to market whether by licensing or self or contract manufacturing.

Based on working with hundreds of inventors and working for several invention licensing firms as well as the companies who license products from inventors, this book is very different from other invention books.

The Inventor Trap explains where inventors almost always go wrong and details not only how to navigate the pitfalls of the invention industry, but what inventors can do to get from conception to market quickly, or at the least, how to “fail forward fast” and at minimal expense.

Also something no other invention book does, it shows the inventor how to figure out in a matter of a days, by consulting with the best minds in licensing,  if his or her idea really has the novelty, marketability and feasibility to be a hit, or if it's likely a dud that should be nipped in bud.

The Inventor Trap provides a complete education on both the perils and best practices of protecting, marketing and licensing an invention. 


About The  Author



Steve Mays, author of The Inventor Trap, has worked in intellectual property development and licensing since 2005. He has served in management and executive positions at three IP firms in the San Francisco & Silicon Valley area.

He currently consults in intellectual property feasibility analysis as well as sourcing for overseas contract manufacturing. He is a father of four and currently resides in the East San Francisco Bay Area with his family.


Our  Smart Inventor  Services


In the course of writing the book, “The Inventor Trap”, two things kept gnawing at my mind that inventors really need to have available to them and to utilize.

The first was that there is a real need for Objective Invention Evaluation Services.

The invention promotion companies and patent attorney’s who take advantage of inventors tell everyone one of three things:

1. We think you have a great idea and want to help you get it to market!"  (they tell everyone this).

2. "We don't judge [evaluate] inventions. We believe every inventor should have access to our world class services." (this is their way of eagerly promoting their services to inventors whom they know to have inventions that have no chance of of being licensed). Or, 

3. "The only way to know if your invention will succeed is to start down the road of patenting  and licensing it.

Inventors on their own often go to a patent attorney and pay thousands for a patent but themselves will tell you if asked that whether or not it's an invention that is likely to make money is outside their area of expertise.

These are all WRONG ways to begin. The only wise initial course of action is to have an  objective evaluation done by a reputable person in licensing or procurement  at the outset.  This  can and almost certainly will, save you piles of money and years of wasted time.  Because of the great need and value of this service to inventors, we are proud to provide this as an Inventor Trap service.

The second  thing that inventors really could use, and have a very hard time getting, is Solid Manufacturing Quotes.

Both lone inventors and licensing agents have a very tough time getting reliable and actionable quotes they can  Keep Reading


Invention Company Reviews

One of the best ways for us to be a great resource for inventors, their investors, business partners, and families is to give our honest opinions about companies who purport to help inventors. 

Most invention companies have success rates below 1%.  A few have success rates nearing 50%.  The book, The Inventor Trap, has a short list of the best licensing agents with the highest licensing rates.  The book also has an evaluation form that will allow you to accurately grade any company you're considering doing business with.

The below list is a short list of invention promoters who charge inventors fees but have a track record of little or no success.  This list will continue to expand over time and is currently comprised of invention marketing companies who have licensing success rates that are estimated to be less than 1%.   Such companies we give a grade of  “F”. 

* We define "success" as a product being licensed and bringing in more money than the inventor has spent on the invention promoters services.    Keep Reading      



We profile a few of the better known, but worst performing invention promoters.


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The Biggest losers

Why the invention companies making the most noise are the  worst choice  if you want a licensing deal.

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Share your Rating

Have you had a good or bad experience with a licensing company or patent attorney ?


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