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Deals That Are Nifty by Sister Thrifty: Inventors

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Friday, February 11, 2005

Inventors

Hi everyone!
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VISIT SAN DIEGO MUSEUMS FOR HALF-PRICE IN FEBRUARY Birch Aquarium at Scripps, in partnership with San Diego's arts and culture community and Robinsons-May stores, will be celebrating Museum Month throughout February 2005 by offering half-priced admission with a special Museum Month pass. The Museum Month pass is available free of charge at all San Diego County Robinsons-May stores as of February 1, and can be presented at 27 participating institutions for half-priced admissions during the month of February.
Most of San Diego's museums and historic sites will be celebrating cultural awareness on a level witnessed by few cities in the United States. Museum Month is hosted by the San Diego Museum Council and is sponsored by Robinsons-May. For more information and a list of participating museums, visit http://www.sandiegomuseumcouncil.org
If you're like me you've concocted all kinds of inventions in your head only to later see the ideas marketed on TV by someone else. That's when you see the other ads on TV about companies that will supposedly help you with your inventions....more often than not, they're scams. There was even a law passed in 1999 - the American Inventors’ Protection Act – to safeguard consumers against these fraudulent companies. But apparently, they are back.
The Patent & Trademark Office has issued a warning about these groups, and you can find it at uspto.gov. The scams usually work in three steps. At first, they send you a free information kit. Then, they hit you up for $500 to $700 to do some "preliminary research" into the viability of your idea.
After a few weeks, they send you another thicker package, saying your idea is a hit and they need more money to start a marketing campaign. This time, they hit you up for $5,000 to $10,000. Don’t allow yourself to be taken. So, how do you find legitimate groups? For general information, howstuffworks.com is a good starting point. Another one is inventored.org, which is an informational site for inventors. Another easy one is asktheinvenstors.org. The site tries to sell you things, as well, but you don’t have to buy. Then there is the International Federation for Inventors Association. They even have information specifically for women because women tend to experience some discrimination from men in the inventing world. It’s at invention-ifia.ch. So, stay out of harm’s way. When you see those ads on late night TV, steer clear.
I hope you have an incredibly romantic weekend!
CENTSerely,
Sister Thrifty

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