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Product development companies make getting your invention to market a cinch.

By Tomima Edmark

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You've got this great idea, but you don't know how totake it forward. You haven't the foggiest notion how toevaluate your idea, research the market or build a prototype. Well,an industry has cropped up to help you with this dilemma: productdevelopment companies.

Although the two are sometimes confused, product developmentcompanies and invention development companies are not the same.When you thumb through the backs of many magazines, you'll seeadvertisements for invention development companies or inventionmarketing companies. The ads offer a quick and easy way to get youridea to market for an upfront fee. These companies offer suchservices as a patent search, marketing reports, development anddistribution contacts, and more. The services are all done for avariety of fees and for a percentage of profits from your idea. Thecompanies' sales approach is usually high-pressure. They willflatter you by telling you how great your idea is and appeal toyour sense of guilt for not having what it takes to develop it.

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