Innovative Product Technologies. Inc. for Inventors trying to break into the invention world
Since we started WIN inventors have asked a lot of questions about the program. Hopefully, some of these questions and our answers will be helpful to you.
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Ideas to Dollars, Making Invention Pay
Since we started WIN inventors have asked a lot of questions about the program. Hopefully, some of these questions and our answers will be helpful to you. FAQ's


Question: Do I need to have my patent before getting an evaluation?

Question: Do I need to have a prototype to get an evaluation?

Question: What experience do you have in evaluating inventions?

Question: Who will do my evaluation?

Question: How long will my evaluation take?

Question: What other services does WIN provide?

Question: How much money will I end up paying WIN?

Question: I don't want an evaluation, how do I get my idea to a major retailer such as Wal-Mart, Home Shopping Network or Home Depot?

Question: Where do I go for help after I get my evaluation report?

Question: What does a retailer gain from participating in the WIN Innovation Center?

Question: What happens if I get a positive WIN evaluation?

Question: Will a retailer take over the development of my idea or invention?

Question: Is the WIN Innovation Center part of major retailers?

Question: I don't need an evaluation, but I would like to get some help in developing my invention. Can you send me the WIN Resource Network in my state?

Question: Who will you tell about my idea?

I have a new product, not an idea or invention. Can you help?
Do I need to have my patent before getting an evaluation?

Absolutely not. In fact, we recommend obtaining an evaluation first.Patents cost a lot of money.
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Do I need to have a prototype to get an evaluation?

Not in most cases. Our evaluation system is designed to work at the idea stage. This enables you to get an objective third-party evaluation before you invest a lot of money in your project.
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What experience do you have in evaluating inventions?

The director of the WIN program is Dr. Gerald G.Udell. He has over 25 years of experience in invention evaluation, and is generally regarded as the leading expert on invention evaluation in the United States. He has authored 30 books and over 200 articles, papers, and reports, many of which relate to the innovation process and/or invention evaluation. He is the author of the PIES system, the most widely used evaluation format in America.
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Who will do my evaluation?

The Innovation Institute (I2) is the WIN evaluation agent in all states except Missouri. The Institute was founded by Dr. Udell in 1979 to carry on the evaluation research he began in 1974 for the National Science
Foundation. It holds the intellectual property rights to the PIES format. Your project will be assigned to a chief evaluator who will consult with other WIN evaluators and consultants, but never anyone beyond those persons discussed in #15, below, without your written permission.
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How long will my evaluation take?

You should have your report in six to eight weeks.  
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What other services does WIN provide?

WIN is essentially an invention evaluation service. We do not provide invention development, management assistance, and/or marketing services because we think it is a conflict of interest for an evaluation service to also provide additional services on a fee basis. We do provide no-cost referrals to sources of management and technical assistance to clients with qualifying inventions. We will not buy your idea, give you money, help you develop or market your idea. We have elected not to ask the government or any major retailers for any money to finance such services. To the best of our knowledge, our evaluation fee is the lowest in the country for a legitimate evaluation service. Consequently, we do not have the resources to provide additional services beyond those specified in question #9, below.
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How much money will I end up paying WIN?

$275 (if you live in the United States) or $295 (elsewhere). This is about what you would pay for a very low-cost patent search, or to some patent attorneys for about 30-45 minutes of their time. There are no other payments to WIN. Any additional services we provide are at no cost to you and are at our option. To have evaluation completed, download and complete evaluation form. Mail completed form along with payment to:

IPT, Inc.\WIN
Post Office Box 817,
Sandpoint, Idaho 83864
Telephone: (208) 265-5938

Or
IPT, Inc.\WIN
4131 NW 13th Street, Suite 220
Gainesville, Florida 32609
Telephone: (352) 373-1007

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I don't want an evaluation, how do I get my idea to a major retailer?

Most retailers do not license or invest in ideas or inventions, nor do they pay in advance on orders placed with vendors. You will need to wait until your idea/invention has had significant sales through other channels of distribution; then it will be appropriate for you to contact the major retailer where your product would sell.

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Where do I go for help after I get my evaluation report?

If your invention receives a Success Likelihood Rating of .35 or more, we will send you a list of inventor services and other resources located in your state. We maintain a national network of over 2000 resources for inventors, including inventor groups, Small Business Development Centers,Inovative Product Technologies, Inc.,(Offices in Gainsville, Florida and Sandpoint, Idaho) legitimate licensing executives, and economic development groups. Please note that some areas have much better developed resources than others.
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What does a major retailer gain from participating in the WIN Innovation Center?

Basically, the satisfaction of doing the right thing—helping people help themselves. Retailers do not benefit financially in any way through this program. Retailers are involved because its top management knows that innovation is essential to a healthy and prosperous national economy.
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What happens if I get a positive WIN evaluation?

A positive WIN recommendation does not obligate retailers in any way. WIN evaluators are free to endorse your invention without consideration of the retailers stocking needs or policies. Our objective is not limited to stimulating only innovations suitable for retail stores and there are a lot of other good ideas/inventions that deserve help too.
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Will a retailer take over the development of my idea or invention?

No; Most retailers do not have manufacturing facilities. You are responsible for any development and commercialization.
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Is the WIN Innovation Center part of a specific retailers?

No, WIN is a cooperative public service program maintained by the Innovation Institute and Southwest Missouri State University, with participation from various retailers who use the professional evaluation results along with other WIN Partners. We are an independent program designed to provide inventors and innovators with an honest assessment of the commercial potential of their inventions and new products. Our purpose is to stimulate innovation by providing an honest and objective source of advice and referrals. We are not obliged to refer products to retailers or other retailers, nor is a retailer obliged to follow our recommendations.
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I don't need an evaluation, but I would like to get some help in developing my invention. Can you send me the WIN Resource Network in my state?

Sorry, but the deal we made with our resource affiliates before they signed up was that we would not make referrals without first determining if the invention involved had commercial merit. Most of our affiliates have limited resources, and are therefore unable to spend time and effort with ideas and inventions with low commercial potential.
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Who will you tell about my idea?

No one. We won't disclose your idea or invention to anyone outside of the WIN staff without your express written permission. All of the people involved in the WIN program have signed confidentiality statements that are kept on file. Generally only three or four people will see your information: (1) the evaluation manager who reads just enough to assign your project to a (2) chief evaluator (who is the only person to review your project in depth) and (3) the client coordinator who is also responsible for filing your materials in temporary storage. Evaluators may consult with our (4) evaluation consultants, but this rarely if ever involves a full disclosure of your idea. Evaluation files are temporarily stored in locked files/offices. They are then destroyed. Paper is incinerated. Non-burnable materials, including video tapes and prototypes, are physically destroyed.
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I have a new product, not an idea or invention. Can you help?

We have evaluated over 5,000 products using the PIES system or a modification of that system. We have used that experience to refine our product assessment system. The third edition, PAS-III, is operational and product assessments are available at a cost of $275 in the U.S. and $295 (in US funds) elsewhere. For more information about our Product Assessment Service visit the PAS FAQ. To print out the appropriate Registration and Disclosure forms, go to our product assessment forms section. Be sure to include a sales history of your product. Also, samples are very helpful, so feel free to send them along; however, they will not be returned. In the near future, we will be adding a venture assessment service as well.

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We help inventors get their inventions seen, protected and marketed

East Coast Location
The Executive Center 4131 NW 13th Street
Suite 220, Gainesville, FL 32609 USA
Phone: (352) 373-1007 | FAX: (352) 337-0750
Northwest Location
Box 817 Glengary Bay Road
Sandpoint, Idaho 83864 USA
Phone: (208) 265-5938 | FAX: (208) 265-4482

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