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I am not a lawyer, I am not a patent agent, I am a business consultant who has been successfully self-employed for more than 10 years. These pages are NOT intended to substitute for specific legal or business advice specific to your invention, business, or situation. They are intended to provide some basic "think about it" background material and links to appropriate resources. Just because a resource is linked to from these pages it DOES NOT mean that the providers of that resource are honest, ethical, or anything else and it does NOT guarantee that any information you find at that resource is correct or beneficial to you. (If you do deal with a site and it turns out you think you've been ripped off please let me know---and provide the documentation.)

This site is not "Mom and Dad" who will take care of you and tell you it's the world's fault when you get bumps and bruises. This site is not the "Consumer Reports" of invention resources that has studied other sites, products, service providers, etc. and will tell you with objective (or subjective) data what "the good" ones are. This site is not "the fraud police" that will keep the scammers away from you or "deal with them" should you fall afoul of their schemes. This site is not anything else that will (somehow magically) absolve you from taking responsibility for yourself, your own research, your own decisions, and ultimately your own CONSEQUENCES, the bad and the very bad as well as the positive ones.

 $ Profiteers

This site contains many little  $  flags that indicate that the link's owner stands to make a profit off of you should you go beyond just looking at their free information. THAT IS NOT BAD. If you're in inventing you're in it to make money by satisfying the needs and wants of other people too. You should have a  $  flag beside your name or your invention's name, etc. That is simply the reality of the way the world works. The flags are there not to knock or belittle the site linked to or impugn the motives of the site owner but to start making it crystal clear in your mind just how real BUSINESS works. Likewise, of course, the flag is not an endorsement!

But just because a site link does not have a  $  flag beside it does not mean they won't require or request money from you. I have not put the  $  flags beside government offices though many times, such as the USPTO they will require payment up-front for services or products. Likewise I have not put flags beside non-profit organizations even though they may charge you dues or beg you for money to support their activities. Just because I have not put a  $  beside something does not mean that the resource provider is honest, trustworthy, etc., etc., it just means that from what I know they appear to not be especially profit motivated in providing that resource.