I went to Google (which I urge EVERYONE to do when dealing with a company, especially something that sounds too good to be true) and did a search for “davison licensing reviews” and found a few results. Most were calling the company a scam, and although it’s not an exact scam (some people did claim however they paid $10,000 to $15,000 and never received a prototype of their idea) it is important to note (from this Forbe’s magazine article on Davison) that the company does in fact make most of it’s money from the design process, and only a small fraction of a percent of its income comes from royalties of sucessfully licensed products. Another big problem stated by the website (here’s the website for Davison complaints) was that the company’s customer service was horrible once you handed over your money.
Key lessons to be learned here.
1.) The internet is a wonderful tool, so use it. If something sounds too good to be true, don’t assume it is, just check it out on Google. Although you’re rarely find positive reviews (keep this in mind if you find nothing on a company or service as that might be a good thing) if people are unhappy, you’ll definitely find out it’s not worth doing and why the person feels that way. Another good place to search after Google is the Better Business Bureau, of which Davison also had like 200+ complaints.
2.) The design process is expensive. Although I’m personally unsure of the follow through on their services (since I will now not be paying them), Davison’s price tag for the design budget is in the ballpark. I think for the design and patent application itself was right around $12k for our universal cup holder. I would suggest not cutting any corners though, and if you’re truly confident in an idea (and you can find more helpful info on the patent process on our blog) take the time to meet with a patent attorney and at least do an initial patent search. Should the results be positive, look for a qualified design firm (usually an engineering firm) that you can work personally with to monitor how your funds are being used.
Other than that, good luck, and it’s still possible to bring a product to market, just don’t expect it to happen overnight.