How it Works

Our process is set up with you in mind.

Our goal is to thoroughly understand your solution, so we can provide you with the greatest opportunity to bring your product to market. We will work closely with you throughout the process, to ensure a successful outcome.

  1. 1

    Submit Your Solution

    You will receive an email with a personal ID number just for Rubbermaid Invention Center.

    Instant Email
  2. 2

    Team Review

    Our team receives your submission and reviews it for fit with Rubbermaid.

    4-6 Months Email
  3. 3

    In-depth Evaluation

    Our team develops a business plan, intensely evaluating the submission.

    4-6 Months Email
  4. 4

    Starting the Conversation

    Your submission is a fit with Rubbermaid and it is time to talk about how we can work together.

    4-6 Months Phone Call
  5. 5

    Reaching an Agreement

    Now we both understand how together we will work to bring the product to market and make it happen.

    Instant Email


  • Q. If I do not have a patent and have not applied for a patent on my idea, can I submit my idea to Rubbermaid?

    A. Currently, Rubbermaid only accepts patented ideas or ideas for which a patent application has been filed in the United States and that application has published. This restriction serves to limit submission of patentable information to that which is publicly available and to protect submitters from submitting information that may otherwise desired to be kept confidential. If you are uncertain as to the adequacy of your intellectual property protection, we recommend you consult an attorney prior to submission to Rubbermaid. As set forth in the Terms and Conditions of all submissions, intellectual property rights, such as patent rights, are the only rights available to protect your submitted ideas. If non-patented ideas are submitted, or ideas for which a patent application has been filed but has not yet published, then there is no expectation of confidentiality between the submitter and Rubbermaid established.

  • Q. Will Rubbermaid keep my information private or confidential, or will Rubbermaid disclose my information to others?

    A. Personal information will be held private within the evaluation team, and used for business actions only. However, nothing submitted shall be considered confidential. Rubbermaid’s innovation process is designed to produce solutions that address common frustrations and needs of our consumers, solutions that are preferred over other solutions by those consumers, and solutions that are commercially feasible. Consequently, Rubbermaid often seeks consumer insights early in the innovation process to determine the value of new products and features and to obtain end-user feedback. Therefore, to effectively evaluate your idea submission, it is possible that it will be shared with third parties. Do not disclose anything to Rubbermaid that you do not wish to be disclosed to third parties.

  • Q. Can I request that Rubbermaid sign a confidentiality agreement to cover my idea submission?

    A. No. All ideas submitted and all information submitted therewith are considered non-confidential. Rubbermaid will not treat them as confidential. Rubbermaid also will not sign any confidentiality agreement or non-disclosure agreement prior to reviewing an initial submission. If after reviewing the initial submission, it is determined by Rubbermaid, in its sole discretion, that a confidentiality agreement is needed to view additional information; such an agreement may be separately agreed to and executed by both parties. Without such a separate written agreement in place, you should not consider any information submitted as confidential.

  • Q. What rights will Rubbermaid obtain in my idea and associated inventions?

    A. Because of the non-confidential nature of your submission, Rubbermaid will have the right to show your idea (and only your idea) to third parties for evaluation purposes. Under some circumstances, this may include making, or having made, one or more prototypes to most effectively represent and convey your idea during evaluation activities. However, Rubbermaid will not automatically obtain any other rights to your idea that are protectable by intellectual property rights (e.g., patents, trademarks, copyrights, design registrations, etc.). If Rubbermaid decides, in its sole discretion, to pursue your idea, Rubbermaid will engage in a separate negotiation with you to obtain any necessary rights, such as a patent license.

  • Q. Will Rubbermaid return materials provided with or related to this submission?

    A. No. Rubbermaid is not obligated to return anything submitted to them as part of the idea submission. Please do not submit anything that you wish to have returned.

  • Q. Are there other ways to present ideas to Rubbermaid?

    A. No. Rubbermaid requires that all unsolicited ideas be submitted through this website. Rubbermaid does not accept in-person submissions. Any telephone calls or emails with idea submissions will be re-directed to this website for submission. Doing so facilitates efficient review and directing the submission to the proper parties for evaluation.

  • Q. How long will it take for Rubbermaid to review my submission?

    A. Rubbermaid often conducts thorough internal and external evaluation of ideas before making decisions to pursue an idea. Accordingly, to effectively evaluate submissions and increase the value and acceptance of products Rubbermaid brings to market, Rubbermaid may spend up to ninety days, and sometimes more. Rubbermaid strives to timely apprise you of the status of your submission through written communication, but cannot make any guaranties about timing. Please do not attempt to contact individuals at Rubbermaid to learn of the status of your submission. Use the provided link on the Rubbermaid Inventor Center site for status updates.

  • Q. What is a typical evaluation process for Rubbermaid?

    A. Rubbermaid typically conducts a multi-step evaluation process to increase the likelihood of success for ideas and products taken to market. The scope and extent of the activities highly depend upon the type of product and upon the anticipated customer bases. Internal evaluations may be performed to determine whether the product is a good fit for Rubbermaid. Often, external consumer insights and market research may be conducted to assess consumer acceptance and enable Rubbermaid to improve product positioning and success in the market. Rubbermaid may also conduct internal design and manufacturing feasibility activities. For more information see the page on Working with Us.

  • Q. What happens if Rubbermaid likes my product?

    A. Rubbermaid typically conducts a multi-step evaluation process to increase the likelihood of success for ideas and products taken to market. More details about the process can be found on the Working with Us page. Our goal is to bring innovate solutions that solve consumer needs to the market.

  • Q. Is it possible to arrange a meeting to present my idea or product?

    A. At the appropriate time in the review process, a representative will contact you. At this time there may be an opportunity for a meeting, but it is not necessary for initial evaluation. If a prototype or video demonstration is available, please make sure you mention it in the submission.