On August 24, 2017, a federal court found that the FTC would likely be able to prevail in its case against World Patent Marketing. The invention-promotion scheme allegedly lied to customers about its success and the services it provided, while simultaneously suppressing complaints made by dissatisfied customers. The court agreed to temporarily halt the scheme in March of this year, after the FTC filed a complaint accusing the defendants of charging customers thousands of dollars to patent and market their inventions based on erroneous “success stories”.
It was also alleged that the company was never able to deliver what they initially promised. Instead, many clients ended up getting into debt and some even lost their life savings. The preliminary injunction was issued on August 16, 2017. Under that injunction, the defendants have been prohibited from make further misrepresentations to convince consumers to purchase their products or services. The defendants have also been prohibited from threatening anyone who complains about them.
The asset freeze is now indefinite. The FTC alleges that the Florida-based firm used bogus “success stores” and testimonials to convince consumers to use their services. It is alleged that the defendants strung the customers along for a few months or even years, but ultimately failed to deliver what they had promised. Simultaneously, the Federal Trade Commission has accused the defendants of threatening to take legal action against customers that have published truthful or non-defamatory negative reviews about the company and its services.
One client attempted to acquire a refund by filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. Later, the customer received a letter from the defendants’ lawyer. The letter claimed that the client was attempting to seeking a refund through extortion under Florida law. The letter allegedly sent by the defendants’ lawyers stated “since you used email to make your threats, you would be subject to a federal extortion charge, which carries a term of imprisonment of up to two years and potential criminal fines.”