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Should You Trust Davison Inventions with Your Big Idea?

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Quick Summary of Davison Inventions

Rating: 2 It's not an outright scam, but it's full of red flags and an FTC lawsuit to boot.

The Good: Davison does now disclose the fact that you may invest thousands of dollars in your invention idea and still end up with an unmarketable product. There are some invention success stories noted on Davison's website.

The Bad: There are hundreds of complaints filed against this company, and back in 2006 the FTC filed a lawsuit against Davison alleging that it was part of an invention scam. You may spend thousands of dollars with this company and still end up with nothing to market and sell.

The Bottom Line: There are other and cheaper methods for bringing your invention to the public, although they do require some work. For example, you could crowdsource your invention idea. You could also build your invention prototype at a hackerspace.

Davison Inventions Review

If you have ever had an idea for an invention, you’ve probably had an online encounter or three with Davison Inventions. This company has operated under several different names since 1989, including the following:

Davison Inventing Method
Davison & Associates Inc.
Davison Design and Development, Inc.
Manufacturer’s Support Services, Inc.
Davison International
Davison Innovations

What is Davison Inventions?

Davison is an inventor services company that advertises that it will help develop and market your invention idea to manufacturing companies for eventual distribution of the actualized product to stores. Davison provides a number of invention services, including patent research, patent filing, product development/design, manufacturer research, commercial/retailer match, and royalty negotiation.

Here is an example email I recently received from Davison:

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If you go to the company’s website, you’ll find the following information displayed:

Davison

For an aspiring inventor who is struggling to get her product to market, Davison sounds like a good idea. The company offers to help with the invention patenting process, find manufacturers to create the product, and even negotiate with area stores to stock and sell the finalized product. Davison even features several videos highlighting inventors who turned their ideas into store products.

So, why would you not trust this company to help you realize your big idea?

The problem with Davison Inventions

Unfortunately, the company has been criticized numerous times by burnt inventors, who state that they paid thousands of dollars to work with Davison and saw nothing come of their collaboration. Online complaints include the following:

complaint2
complaint
complaint1

To be fair, Davison has faithfully replied to and addressed many of these online complaints. However, there are many upon many such complaints, and far more than would be normal for a standard invention help service. Searching online, one finds many scam and review sites listing complaints about Davison.

Back in 2006, the complaints reached a crisis level and the FTC became involved. The FTC case against Davison, as well as its resolution, is posted here.

My personal experience with Davison

A while back, I submitted a product idea of my own to Davison. The product in question was what I called a “Human-Powered TV.” This product converted energy generated by an exercising human into voltage that could be used to power a device such as a TV.

Davison emailed me immediately after I made my submission. Keep in mind that I had not yet paid any money to the company at this point in time.

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I found it heartening that Davison had addressed its involvement with the FTC and had provided at least an acknowledgment of its many critics.

I replied to their email and emphasized my concern about paying thousands of dollars for services that might result in me getting no closer to a realized product than when I’d first begun putting my idea to paper. I also asked why Davison had hundreds of online complaints about its services.

Within a day, I received a rebuttal email that addressed some of my concerns. Here is an excerpt:

davison3

While this is a great rebuttal to some of my concerns, it doesn’t completely answer why there are so many complaints about Davison even on third party review sites. Shouldn’t such review sites be populated with all kinds of reviews- negative, neutral and positive?

I eventually had a phone call with one of Davison’s agents; however, at this point in time, I decided to ask other key questions. For starters, I asked which specific companies would be approached about my invention idea.

My Davison agent, to his credit, provided me with actual names of existing manufacturing companies. He did not say if these companies had been approached about my specific invention, however.

We then discussed whether Davison had ever blatantly refused to develop any invention idea. This topic came up because one of the criticisms about this company is that it will claim any and every invention idea has potential and is worthy of being marketed. I also asked how my invention had been deemed worthy of being developed.

Davison’s agent was more vague about answering this particular question, stating that it would be up to the manufacturers to decide.

The agent then gave me a ballpark figure for moving forward with my invention. I would need to pay  $600 to initiate a patent search on my idea. Prototyping would run another $5K-$8K. There was also a “marketing package” that would require development and cost $1K-$2K.

I replied that I would “need to think about it” and the conversation ended there. I received a few more emails and voicemails from the Davison agent, but after a month had passed, they ended.

Why did I not pursue a collaboration with Davison?

Sloppy research

Davison presented me with a good pep talk for filing an invention patent and building a prototype. Everything sounded great until I happened to do an online search for human-powered devices, including TVs. Without too much effort, I quickly discovered that human-powered electronic devices had not only already been introduced, but even sold.

Had Davison chosen to do even five minutes on pre-research on my behalf, we would’ve known that my invention idea was a bust.

So, had I agreed to pay for a patent search, I would’ve already been out $600, and for information that was freely available through Google.

Numerous complaints

Although every company has its share of negative reviews, the many complaints against Davison are worrisome. Likewise, there are no review sites or former Davison clients providing positive reviews about this company.

There is also the FTC filed lawsuit to consider, wherein Davison was named as one of 11 companies involved in an invention scam.

High cost of commitment

Davison asks for several thousand dollars up-front for services that may or may not result in a marketable product- or even a product at all. Meanwhile, there are far cheaper ways to build your prototype, including using an area hackerspace. You might also fund your invention idea by using crowdsourcing sites like Kickstarter or submitting your idea to a business pitch contest.

Summary

While it’s challenging to call Davison Inventions an outright scam, there is enough evidence and negative customer feedback that you are well advised to be wary when dealing with this company. If you do plan to work with Davison, don’t invest any capital that you need for essentials like food, utilities or your mortgage. Finally, keep in mind that seeing any invention pay off is a gamble no matter who is handling the marketing and negotiations.

17 Comments

  1. Katherine Robinson says:

    I’m not too sure it’s I’m gonna be doing mine that quickly I’m checking out some other places to go and I have somebody else in mind that I’m gonna go and ended in talk to so I’m not really sure yet if I’m going this route or not I told him my ideal but if they take it and they do anything with it then I know their word is not what they say

    Reply
  2. They got over $10,000 from me and I haven’t heard from them in over 1 1/2 years. When I did hear from them they wanted $500 to show me a new package that is done on the computer. I’ll be making a visit with my attorney. This is so wrong on so many levels.

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  3. i also have give davison over 6700$ plus 385$ for a interview with razer and kelter. razer replid asking to sin a contract but just to store the idea. and i gave them a nothere 385$ to present it to kelter and 6 mouths latter davison tells me they never reply’d . so… how do i know were my 385$ even when? then askt for to present it to a nother comany for 385$.

    Reply
    1. They “claim” that’s for repackaging, with is done on a computer screen. Maybe a class action lawsuit is the way to go! I’m in!

  4. Yup, they got me for around 4K a few years back. I explained to my “advisor” that I was on disability and really couldn’t afford it, after the initial payment (I can’t remember if it was 695 or 795), I was told the process was beginning, then it was another I think 1,000, then I was told research, then I was told the company that produced the “club” (car theft deterrent) would be making the product, then blah, blah, blah, yada, yada, yada 2,500 more, then that company didn’t wish to proceed, but if I sent in another 6,000 dollars, we could proceed and it would come to fruition…..
    So, here I am, years later, no invention, down 4,000 dollars and still on disability with shattered dreams. Thank you very much for ripping me off and leaving me disillusioned about being an inventor.
    (Oh yeah, I’m sure if there is any kind of response by them that they will spout about how they have “legal disclaimers”, how there is “no guarantee” as to a product making it to market, etc….. But nothing will be said of how I was “encouraged” by the representative about how “likely” we would be able to “market and succeed” with my invention. I’m not a lawyer, and the “legal disclaimers” look like gibberish).
    Live and learn I guess…

    Reply
  5. John C Adams says:

    Davison liked my idea although it took numerous calls for the guy to ‘get it’. Then $795.00 or upfront $695.00. Senses tingle. On fixed income with some financial situations started paying by month. Then their rep got actually nasty when I explained a major car accident would put me on hold for a couple of weeks. I’m a veteran on disability and unfortunately or fortunately I have been scammed to small degrees. Davison rep ridiculed me unmercessily despite 4 concise explanations of my position. Unprofessional and in my opinion a scam. Run from them. I’m fortunate the rep pushed too hard to the wrong guy.I know there are people out there with great ideas,but Davison isn’t the way.I truly think his scam was developed from him being beaten to the punch on a very serious invention with extreme monetary value. Now we think and he reaps. It fits psychologically. It’s a good show but in the end it’s a SHOW.

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  6. I spoke to Davison the other day. They sounded and looked promising to me. I agreed to deal with them. I paid them $50 to start. I was ready to submit my idea to them via email, but guess what? My email won’t work. I feel that’s The Lord’s way of telling me not to do this. I am going to call them for a refund of my $50 and keel it moving.To everyone out there, if you have gut feelings and red flags, listen. Thank You

    Reply
    1. Don’t do it!!!! They are getting rich off everyone else’s money with no results. I got taken for $11,450. Since I haven’t heard from them in way over a year I’m sealing legal action.

  7. Davison Invention is a sham company that does not respect the FCC do not call list. Don’t use!

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  8. I submitted my idea to them they called instantly and I paid 695$. After reading these reviews I’m afraid that they took my great idea! What can I do now??? Please help.

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  9. I have signed on with my invention idea over a year ago and paid upfront $800 and am paying them $100 a month till $8000 is reached. I’ve had two persons in charge of new inventions, the first fast talker no longer works there and now the second one doesn’t send monthly receipts any longer. Man, you can’t trust anyone anymore. I’m locked into monthly payments but can’t afford an attorney to get me out of this and get my money back. Help!!

    Reply
    1. Good luck to you Ted. Back in 2012 we paid off Davison to the tune of over 10K to proceed on what they told us they were doing. We had to request a prototype so we could see what they were submitting. It was just awful and looked like some grade school project. We were disappointed beyond words. Phone calls were a joke at that point. Not every invention will get through the red tape, but please be sure you understand you will probably lose your money and have nothing but paperwork to show for it.

  10. Hi Halina Zakowicz, thanks for the review. And just reading the contract they want signed set off the alarm bells for me. How deep could a person spend? I just want something out for people to use and benefit from. Not to be capped by a lack of funds. Thanks a gain.

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  11. I submitted my concept of a graphite base electronic cigarette to Davison roughly 2 years before electronic cigarettes manifested in abundance. Yes, someone patented the e-cig concept way back in 60’s or 70’s but they didnt exist until much later. My concept included an air filtering vapor mechanism that “cleans the air when you inhale”, ironic huh, to get cleaner air than if you weren’t smoking. (not sure if this design exists yet, but if not, go ahead, make it, Ive got a zillion even better concepts). My gut feeling when electronic cigs surfaced was Davison was involved. I may be wrong, but after reading all this shady hype about them now, that reinforces my feeling. I will be extremely mindful of who I share my concepts with, I’m an idea warehouse and have difficulty keeping up with all of my concepts, but I’d love to team up with someone or company that is trust worthy and interested in what I have to offer.

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  12. They stole my candy cane bone idea.I thought of out of Log for my dog sweet potato.Aka Taters.He died last year.I go in Walmart there my Taters bones.I know it was tatey way of wishing me a merry Christmas I know they took my idea n sold it and our making 100,000 while I can’t keep food on my table or at least someone at the company stole it.

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  13. Deafly a big switch at here pay $800 for that you so-called research that one and then wanted to charge me $20,000 for my idea and still take 25% of royalties

    Reply
    1. Hello Teddy,

      I am considering working with them, but I don’t have the money and they seem to be not too interested in the idea itself, but more pumping me up for it. I have this advisor, John, he’s ok, but he never replies to e-mails and only sends me these TV appearance videos…..Are they really fake? How did you leave it with them? Thanks

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