1. What is an Inventor Developer?
2. What is Invention Development Services?
3. What are the financial requirements?
4. Is there an alternate method for securing protection of someone contracting with an inventor developer?
5. Is there a form required to be submitted with the surety bond?
6. Is there a fee for supplying the copy of the bond?
7. How and where can the bonds be submitted to the NC Secretary of State’s Office?
8. Where can I find the statutes governing the Inventor Developer?
9. How may I report an Invention Developer not in compliance with this Statute?

1. What is an Invention Developer?

  1. An invention developer is an individual, firm, partnership, corporation, or an agent, employee, officer, partner, or independent contractor of one of those entities, that offers to perform or performs invention development services for a customer and that is not:

  2. A department or agency of the federal, state, or local government;
  3. A charitable, scientific, educational, religious, or other organization qualified under N.C.G.S. 105-130.9 or described in Section 170(b)(1)(A) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended;
  4. A person registered before the United States Patent and Trademark Office acting solely within the scope of that person’s professional license;
  5. A person, firm, corporation, association, or other entity that does not charge a fee, including reimbursement for expenditures made or costs incurred by the entity, for invention development services other than payment made from a portion of the income received by a customer by virtue of the acts performed by the entity; or
  6. An attorney licensed to practice law in North Carolina acting solely within the scope of that person’s professional license.

2. What is Invention Development Services?

Invention Development Services means any act done by or for an invention developer for the procurement or attempted procurement by the invention developer of a license or buyer of an intellectual property right in an invention. The term includes the evaluation, perfecting, marketing, brokering, or promoting of an invention, a patent search, and preparation or prosecution of a patent application by a person not registered to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

3. What are the financial requirements?

Each invention developer doing business in this State as defined by the North Carolina General Statutes shall maintain a bond issued by a surety company authorized to do business in this State. The principal sum of the bond must be at least five percent (5%) of the invention developer’s gross income from the invention development business in this State during the invention developer’s last fiscal year or twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000), whichever is greater. The invention developer shall file a copy of the bond with the Secretary of State before the day on which the invention developer begins business in this State. The invention developer shall have 90 days after the end of each fiscal year within which to change the bond as may be necessary to conform to the requirement.The bond required must be in favor of the State of North Carolina for the benefit of any person who, after entering into a contract for invention development services with an invention developer is damaged by fraud, dishonesty, or failure to provide the services of the invention developer in performance of the contract. Any person claiming against the bond may maintain an action at law against the invention developer and surety. The aggregate liability of the surety to all persons for all breaches of conditions of the bond required is limited to the amount of the bond.

4. Is there an alternate method for securing protection of someone contracting with an inventor developer?

Instead of furnishing the bond required, the invention developer may deposit with the Secretary of State a cash deposit equal to the amount of the bond required. The cash deposit may be satisfied by:

  1. Certificates of deposit payable to the Secretary of State issued by banks doing business in this State and insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation;
  2. Investment certificates of share accounts assigned to the Secretary of State and issued by a savings and loan association doing business in this State, and insured by the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation; or
  3. Cash deposit with the Secretary of State

5. Is there a form required to be submitted to the Secretary of State with the copy of the surety bond?

Yes, you may download a copy of the Invention Developer Submission Form at this link or from the Invention Developer Home Page on the left. Bond and certificate of deposit forms are available here as well.

6. Is there a fee for supplying the copy of the bond?

No.

7. How and where can the copy of the bonds be submitted to the NC Secretary of State’s Office?

You may submit a copy of the bond to the Secretary of State’s Office by fax (919-807-2010) or by mailing to PO Box 29622, Raleigh, NC 27626-0622 to the Attention of Invention Developer.

8. Where can I find the statutes governing the Inventor Developer?

North Carolina General Statutes Article 29 of Chapter 66 governs Invention Development Services.

9. How may I report an Invention Developer not in compliance with this Statute?

You may use the Invention Developer Inquiry Form and submit to Secretary of State’s Office by fax (919-807-2010) or by mailing to PO Box 29622, Raleigh, NC 27626-0622 to the Attention of Invention Developer. Please note that office personnel may not provide legal advice or counsel to the public.

Please note that office personnel may not provide legal advice or counsel to the public

For more information please contact Invention Developer Liaison, Mandy Haynes, at:

Mailing Address:
N.C. Secretary of State
Attn: Invention Developer
PO Box 29622
Raleigh, NC 27626-0622

Street Address:
N.C. Secretary of State
Attn: Invention Developer
2 South Salisbury Street
Raleigh, NC 27601-2903

Email: mhaynes@sosnc.com

Telephone: (919) 807-2005

FAX: (919) 807-2010