Invention Promoter's Name: Davison
Complainant's Name: Marcia DeGraff Response:
Mail Stop 24 Commissioner for Patents
Inventors Assistance Program
P.O. Box 1450
Alexandria, VA 22313-1450
Re: Reply to Complaint of Marcia DeGraff, dated 01/14/2015
Dear Sir or Madam;
This letter is in response to the above referenced complaint, filed by Ms. Marcia DeGraff, against Davison Design and Development, Inc. (Davison). Her complaint gives the impression that her interactions with Davison have been recent. Thais is not accurate. Ms. DeGraff contacted Davison in 2008 and engaged two service contracts. The services were completed by February 2009 with her express written approval and authorization, and to her documented satisfaction. Davison's last contact with Ms. DeGraff was in November 2010. The significant time between her last contact and her filing of the complaint bears on the credibility of her position.
From the time of an initial contact, to the presentation of a client's product idea, Davison maintains an open channel of communication, and secures its client's approval throughout the process. The product development process provides no guarantees of financial gain. Despite best efforts, clients are sometime dissatisfied; particularly in the unfo1iunate event that a license is not secured. Davison has provided its services with her express written approval and authorization, and to her documented satisfaction. A brief summary of events will aid in understanding the services that were provided.
I . 06/02/2008 - Ms. DeGraff submitted an idea to Davison and acknowledged two disclosures detailing the services and fees and the historical data on securing licenses.
- 6/26/2008 -She entered an agreement for research services which were performed and provided to her.
- 08/04/2008 - She entered an agreement for the design and construction of a product sample and presentation materials.
- 11/25/2008 - She approved the design and completed a question naire about the design giving positive feedback.
- Based upon her approval, the physical product sample and presentation materials were created. An Executive Briefing, which included a photograph of the physical product sample, was submitted to her.
- 01/26/2009 - She authorized, in writing, the presentation of her product idea and completed
a questionnaire about the Executive Briefing, providing positive feedback.
- 02/06/2009 -The presentation was made; unfortunately the corporation chose not to license her idea. Ms. DeGraff declined any additional services.
- 11/26/2010 -The final contact with Ms. DeGraff.
Copies of all signed approvals, authorizations and questionnaires are available upon request.
Ms. DeGraff raises the FTC case in an attempt to bolster her claim for a refund. Setting aside her factual misstatement about the case (there was not a $26MM settlement), the case has no bearing on her project. The FTC case was from 1997, nearly eighteen (18) years ago and eleven (11 ) years before Ms. DeGraff contacted Davison. At all relevant tilnes, the company was, and has continued to be, in complete co1npliance with al l requiretnents of the Court and the FTC. As noted above, when Ms. DeGraff first contacted Davison, she was provided with, and signed, the disclosures in compliance with AIPA and the Comt as pmt of the FTC case. As such, that case does not provide any valid basis to suppmt her complaint.
Finally, Ms. DeGraff alleges to have seen, in a ten second segment on television, a product that is similar to her sub1nitted idea. The false implication, without any substantiation, is that Davison may somehow be involved. While it is not possible to prove a negative, Davison has not pursued her idea beyond the authorized presentation cited above. When she submitted her idea, she did so by entering a Confidentially Agreement. Under the express terms of the Agree1nent; "Davison will not use, disclose, license or sell this idea without [Ms. DeGraff s] express written permission." Davison has abided by its obligation of confidentiality with regard to her idea, as it adheres to this obligation for all of its clients. However, Davison can not account for similar, or the same, ideas that may be submitted by other clients, or that may be disclosed to the general public through other avenues. Davison is not aware, and simply can not be aware, of every idea for a new product that any person, anywhere, may conceive. It is not uncommon for multiple people to conceive of the same or a similar product, independently.
In suffilnary, Ms. DeGraff was fully infor1ned of all services and fees before she entered any contract for services. Davison perforn1ed he contracted services with her approval and authorization. The services were provided to her documented satisfaction. The unfmtunate fact that her idea was not licensed does not 'invalidate the services which were provided. There is no basis to warrant a refund.
Isl Frank Vescio President
Davison Design and Development, Inc.
Isl David M. DeMay