Mind your designs ...

While playing around on the patents.com site, the IPKat's eye was caught by one of those Google Ads on the right hand side of his screen.  It was headed
UK Patent Office

Avoid Patent Office Mistakes See If Your Idea Qualifies - Secure
"UK Patent Office" -- it's not so often one hears those words these days. Anyway, both "UK Patent Office" and the advertisement itself are hyperlinked to this site, calling itself Design Mind Group. The link leads to an on-screen form, illustrated with the liberating "Fun on the Beach" (right), which invites inventors to "take action now and submit your idea today". While the legend at the bottom of the page reassuringly reads
"Confidentiality Notice: All information acquired via this website is deemed strictly confidential and may not be sold, leased, bartered, or conveyed in any other manner without the expressed written permission of the owner of said invention",
there is no named human being whom one can contact if anything goes wrong. The Design Mind Group appears to be based in Wilmington, Delaware, which might be an inconvenient place for non-Delaware innovators to litigate. Not that anything could go wrong: the Design Mind Group's resources, comfortingly, appear to be the World Intellectual Property Organization, the USPTO, the European Patent Office and various other venerable bodies.

Elsewhere on the internet the question has been raised as to whether there is a scam. 

The IPKat would be curious to hear from anyone who knows anything of this operation.  Merpel says, aren't you glad this weblog doesn't carry Google Ads?
Mind your designs ... Mind your designs ... Reviewed by Jeremy on Monday, March 30, 2009 Rating: 5


  1. isn't it illegal to call yourself the Patent Office (s.112 UKPA)?

    presume this is still the case even though the Patent Office are choosing not to call themselves it these days...

  2. A LinkedIn page on Design Mind Group (http://www.linkedin.com/pub/a/833/751) mentions three individuals names, that can be leads for your further investigations:

    "Design Mind Group’s New Product Division is led by industry veterans Michael Harrison, Steve Wilson, and Rick Johnson, with the support of a dedicated team of design and marketing professionals."

  3. I think the DMG's intentions become very clear by following the button on their home page to the Online Shop which allows you to "Shop for exciting new products". The portal page for the shop mentions that:

    "Design Mind Group is a leading online retailer offering thousands of cutting edge products, inventions, and innovative concepts. We are constantly searching for new and exciting concepts to add to our diverse product line ...we bring ideas to life!"

    I don't think their focus is on advising people on the protectability of ideas...

  4. I'm also rather suspicious about what "www.controlsac.com" who provide the spiffing badges at the top of the page actually do.

  5. I have recently had adesign assesed by them and they now want approx £10 000 to put it in there market launchers programme,sounds dodgy and te adress at which they are registered is apparently used as part time office space for companies moving office and conferences etc. so anyone in the US should check them out properly

  6. Anyone with up to date info on this company please?

  7. just had my idea looked at my DMG, said it has potential & are sending me some literature on how to progress, will be interesting to see if they mention the £10000 fee.


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