Tuesday, February 19, 2019

In search of the HEIMRICK, Fremont PA & 19 soap bar recyclers: My investigation request to the Pennsylvania Attorney General re: two high-profile Pittsburgh companies

From an investigations request letter I sent yesterday to James A. Donahue III, Executive Deputy Attorney General in the Public Protection Division of the Office of the Pennsylvania Attorney General in Harrisburg. (Click here to download a copy.)


As you may be aware, InventHelp and Intromark are defendants in $100+m class action lawsuits alleging fraud. On my blog, I’ve compiled links to court filings, media reports, and other information regarding the case.

...About a year and a half ago, I came across this press release published by PRNewswire.com:
Inventor and InventHelp Client Develops First-Aid Choking Device (SFO-369)
The HEIMRICK is being submitted to companies by InventHelp, a leading invention submission company.

PITTSBURGH, PA (PRWEB) June 09, 2017

An inventor from Fremont, Pa., has developed the HEIMRICK, a device that automatically performs the Heimlich maneuver on a choking victim at a restaurant or related establishment.

“I invented this to prevent people from choking and dying. It’s a safety device that can be available in various eating establishments,” said the inventor.

The HEIMRICK provides a means of accurately performing the Heimlich maneuver on a choking victim. It provides a greater level of effectiveness than manual methods. It will assist individuals with lack of knowledge on how to manually perform the Heimlich. In addition, the size of the victim versus the size of the person helping is irrelevant. This safety device will mechanically help and possibly save a choking victim.

The original design was submitted to the San Francisco office of InventHelp. It is currently available for licensing or sale to manufacturers or marketers. For more information, write Dept. 16-SFO-369, InventHelp, 217 Ninth Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, or call (412) 288-1300 ext. 1368. Learn more about InventHelp's Invention

Submission Services at http://www.InventHelp.com - https://www.youtube.com/user/inventhelp

Contact Author
Chrissa Chverchko
+1 (412) 288-2136
Ext: 4118 Email >
One of my research/reporting interests is anti-choking devices which have been marketed over the decades, so this sounded like a newsworthy item for my blog.

I’d never heard of the HEIMRICK and the vague description piqued my interest. What did it look like? How does it “automatically” perform the Heimlich maneuver? Could it help save lives?

Perhaps not surprisingly, I assumed InventHelp and the unnamed Fremont, Pennsylvania inventor would be delighted to learn that the son of the developer of “the Heimlich” wanted to report about the HEIMRICK.

However, despite multiple phone messages and e-mails to Ms. Chverchko and other InventHelp employees plus a tweet to (company president Robert) Susa. I didn’t receive any response.

Further, I was unable to locate the HEIMRICK inventor’s hometown of Fremont, Pennsylvania...(It’s) unclear if Fremont, Pennsylvania exists.

More recently it occurred to me to revisit the HEIMRICK. As a businessman, I’m always looking for interesting opportunities.

...I repeatedly asked Mr. Susa and (Intromark's Robby) Smith for more details about the HEIMRICK including: a photo or drawing of the device; the name of the inventor, and any other information to help evaluate whether I might wish to manufacture and/or market the device. I also informed them that I was unable to locate Fremont, PA. Despite repeated inquiries, I never received any of the requested information.

...If I was an InventHelp client, I’d want to be made aware of every inquiry from potential manufacturers/marketers so that I could make my own evaluations. And wouldn’t the HEIMRICK inventor want to be informed that the son of Dr. Heimlich was inquiring about a business relationship?

...Further, I’ve been unable to locate any information about the HEIMRICK except for InventHelp’s press release, therefore I have no way to contact the inventor. Therefore I‘m concerned that InventHelp and Intromark are denying the inventor and me the opportunity to pursue what might be a mutually-beneficial business relationship.

As a result of my experiences re: the HEIMRICK, I was curious to learn more about InventHelp’s press release solicitations of potential manufacturers and marketers for their clients’ products.

PRNewswire’s website archives only the most recent six months of these solicitations. According to these screenshots I made this afternoon, from August 20, 2018 through February 18, 2019 (today), InventHelp issued 2,081 press release solicitations for different inventions, an average of 347 per month.

Further, in the course of researching the company’s press releases, I noted a similarity between a number of purportedly unique inventions...(For example) from August 28, 2013 through September 7, 2018 InventHelp issued 19 press release solicitations for 19 different inventions, all of which claim to combine soap bar slivers into a larger bar of soap....Please click here for a pdf compilation of the 19 press releases.

...1. August 28, 2013 , InventHelp Introduces The Soap Saver - Invention Conserves Bars of Soap (LAX-405), La Verne, CA

2. September 11, 2013, InventHelp Inventor Develops Soap Rejuvenator (RBH-220), Wake Forest, NC

3. October 28, 2013, InventHelp Client Creates Soap-Saving Accessory (CLT-877), Charlotte, NC

4. October 31, 2013, InventHelp Inventor Develops Bar-Soap Accessory (SAH-402), Placerville, CA

5. December 19, 2013, InventHelp Introduces Device that Allows For Conservation of Soap Slivers (HLW-1138), Fort Pierce, FL

6. April 25, 2015, InventHelp Inventor Develops Bathing Accessory (LCC-244), Harrisburg, PA

7. October 3, 2015, Soap Saver Invented by InventHelp Client (BGF-906), Troy, MI

8. October 4, 2015, InventHelp Inventor Develops Device for Reusing Bar Soap (CLT-961), Sherills Ford, NC

9. October 21, 2015, InventHelp Inventor Designs Soap Saving Device (JSN-105), Jacksonville, FL

10. November 5, 2015, InventHelp Inventor Develops Device for Reusing Bar Soap (BRK-2093), Smiths Station, AL

11. October 25, 2016, InventHelp Client's Device Promotes Conservation of Bar Soap (HLW-1658), Hialeah, FL

12. December 2, 2016, InventHelp Invention Allows For More Thorough and Efficient Use of Soap During Bathing and Showering (PND-4723), Marlton, NJ

13. December 21, 2016, InventHelp Device Allows For Conservation of Bar Soap (LAX-797), Thousand Oaks, CA

14. April 1, 2017, InventHelp Inventor Develops Device to Reuse Slivers of Bar Soap (HLW1763), Temple, GA

15. September 30, 2017, Inventor Develops Device to Reform Soap Slivers (BRK-2326), Homewood, AL

16. November 22, 2017, Inventor Develops Convenient Soap-Saving Accessory (JMC-2500), Richmond, VA

17. June 18, 2018, InventHelp Inventor Develops Soap Bar Recycler (AAT-3089), Salem, NJ

18. July 12, 2018, InventHelp Inventor's Invention Recycles Bar Soap (LLF-227), Seffner, FL

19. September 7, 2018, InventHelp Inventor Develops Soap-Preservation Device, (NJD-1630) Belleville, NJ

Frankly, I don't know what to make of any of this, but I 'd appreciate it if your office would review the above information and any other relevant information in order to determine if InventHelp and Intromark are conducting business according to all requisite statutes and guidelines.

Finally, I'm still very much interested in obtaining contact information for the inventor of the HEIMRICK and the whereabouts of Fremont, PA. Would your office please request that information from InventHelp and inform me of their response?