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By J.D. Houvener
Patent Attorney and Founder

Hi everyone, welcome to the Bold Today Show. I’m your host J.D. Houvener, owner, and managing partner here at Bold Patton’s Law Firm. It’s a pleasure to be with you and all the invention community here. I welcome entrepreneurs, business owners, inventors here each week at 9 a.m Pacific and noon on the East Coast. This is our first live format in front of the LinkedIn audience, so I’m really excited for that, a little nervous. So, we’ve been doing this Bold Today Show for about a year now, and it’s a real honor to be able to share this with our community. So please bring all those live questions.

I do want to offer a disclaimer; I’m an attorney (you probably saw that coming), so please know that in this live broadcast, in this format, we do ask you not to share confidential information. There is no attorney-client privilege formed here, so please keep that to yourself. If you want to follow up and you want to get a discussion with an attorney, right with our law firm, I encourage you to do that, and I’ll be providing you a link for that in just a few minutes.

I’m excited to share with you today; I’ve got a special guest, one of our long-term B2B referral partners, Kevin Harten of Making Proto. He’s a 3D prototyping expert, and we’ll have him on just a few minutes. So hang on for that.

Alright, so our normal program today is going to be a discussion about the Bold Patent process. I call it the ABC Patent process, so that’ll be coming up as well. Before I get to that, let me just put up our agenda for today. And for those who are joining in right now, again, I’m J.D. Houvener, owner here at Bold Patent Law Firm. Dallas, good to see you, yeah, go Bold, awesome to have a good community here. So thanks for hopping on. Dallas is a member of our team, so it’s great to have him here.

So what I’ll do is go through our normal introduction as I’ve done. I want to offer you a free screening session if right now or maybe after watching this program, you’re making the decision to take that bold step, that bold action, and you want to schedule a free screening session. This is where we have one of our non-attorneys speak with you about your invention, about where you’re at in the process, and see if now is the right time to speak with an attorney. So if you’re ready for that discussion and you want to get started, that’s your link right there, calendly.com/businessconsultations. That’s going to get you in contact with one of our three awesome non-attorney advisors. Alright, so that’s how you get started.

What I want to do is jump to a brief discussion of our ABC Patent process. I built this about four or five years ago, and it’s been a really cool way to explain a pretty complex matter, right, subject matter, in a straightforward way. So let me share my screen here with you, and I want to go just flash this on your screen so you’ve got it, and if you have any questions, of course, let me know.

So here it is in all of its beauty. Okay, and this is an ABCD format. This is all you got to do to get a patent. The first step, is it patentable or not? This is step A, can take between four to six weeks for our firm to take care of this for you, to get you a real good answer on should you patent it or not, is this something worth moving forward on. We give you the hard truth, right, good, bad, or otherwise. If we’re saying green light, we are with you, behind you 100%, cheering you on.

For most first-time inventors that are looking to just dip their toe in the water and get started in the patent world, a provisional patent application is typically what’s recommended. It does give you a full year after spending that six to eight weeks preparing it and filing it; you have one year to then file what’s called the non-provisional application. That’s step C, which is the much more formal with claims, formal drawing requirements, and the specification must be formatted in a particular way, so it takes us a little bit longer, 10 to 12 weeks to get done. And then at this point, it is finally off to the USPTO, that’s the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and the examiner will get assigned, and they will do their own search and examine to say, ‘Hey, is this really novel, non-obvious, does it have the utility necessary for us to grant you that 15 to 20-year monopoly in the US market?’

Certainly, there’s a whole lot more detail involved in the process, but that is it. I want to show you that process, start the conversation. So if you have any thoughts on that, questions about it, I’ll stop sharing and let you bring that on. Yeah, we do have a YouTube channel, Gerald. You can check us out, go to Bold Patents, search for that on YouTube. We’ve got a ton of stuff on there, and so if you have any subjects that you don’t find there, let me know; I’ll be happy to put a video up on that subject. Awesome.

All right, well, what I do without further ado, I want to bring on our guest, Kevin Harding. He’s been waiting patiently backstage. Let’s bring him on. Kevin, are you there?

Hi JD, thanks for having me on.”

“You bet. So good to see you, and we were chatting before. I’m jealous of your foliage, man. It looks very tropical there; I love the green.”

“Thanks, yeah.”

“Well, so you’re a 3D printing expert. I think I see a 3D printer behind you, and you’re with Making Proto. Tell us just real quickly what Making Proto is all about.”

“I really specialize in helping create both functional and visual prototypes of people’s inventions or ideas and using 3D printing or additive manufacturing to help realize those. There’s one thing about seeing something in drawings and pictures and CAD, but there’s just something different about having it in your hands and really exploring, does this thing work the way that I had it in my head? And then, how can I improve that through each iteration? With 3D printing, it has allowed us to iterate on an idea so much faster than we’ve ever been able to before.”

“That’s awesome. I’ve heard a lot about 3D printing over the years, and with our clients, it’s something they’ve been interested in doing. So we’ve been sending quite a few people your way, and we’re getting really good feedback. You know, 3D printing isn’t new; it shouldn’t be new to anybody. But I think there’s some things that are happening now that it’s kind of gotten to the point towards in a way developed and become more cost-effective. So it’s really brought in, it seems like there have been some great opportunities that have come in. Now, we were just talking before the show, and this subject really intrigued me. Until now, I’ve been telling inventors, ‘Hey, you should prototype. It’s going to help you think about whether it really does what you think it’s going to do.’ But you were sharing with me that the technology’s gotten so good that you can actually do more than just prototype; you can develop market-ready products with a 3D printer. Can you share with us a little more about that?”

“Yes, as you mentioned, the technology is 30 plus years old for FDM and SLA 3D printing. But what’s happened in just the last few years is it’s become so much more accessible. In the early stages, it was so expensive; it was only really viable for prototypes and aerospace applications. Now, the cost of 3D printing has come down to be comparable to even injection-molded parts. Now, if you’re making a million or 500 million of something, injection molding and mass production are definitely always going to be the cheapest method. But if you’re in the hundreds or even thousands range, depending on the complexity and the number of parts, you can use 3D printing as your final manufacturing method.

So, there’s now consumer kickback depending on the type of product. But products that are good for 3D printing fit into three categories: high-value products, so if your product’s retail price is going to be like five bucks, it might not be a good fit. But if you have a really high-value product, then you have more margins to play with. Another key aspect is something that’s a good fit for 3D printing is really high complexity. If you have a really complicated part, then 3D printing is the better application for something that’s really complex. And then the other one is low quantity. If you’re expecting low quantities, then 3D printing often makes sense because you don’t have that huge investment in tooling and lead times; you can just start producing your parts and start selling those low quantities.

A good example would be custom hearing aids. They’re highly individual, customized for the individual user, super expensive, and have really complicated geometry to fit each person’s ear. So that’s a good application of using 3D printing for a final manufacturing solution.”

“That’s cool. Yeah, I mean, so your recommendations are, so you said high-margin areas where this can be custom building, and I assume even for a simple part on the prototyping side, it’s probably still helpful. But as you said, it’s not going to be the final end manufacturing method as you go to market. But you’re saying for more complex stuff, that is the way. You spoke to hearing aids. I mean, are there any kind of materials that are sort of limited now? Metals would… I mean, can you talk about different types?”

“There have been huge advancements as well in the material side. There are maybe four or five major technologies available, different ecosystems of machines. Behind me, I’ve got an FDM machine, which is the lowest cost. That uses spool filament, and that’s the lowest-cost thing you can do. On the other side, I’ve got an SLA machine, which stands for stereolithography. That uses a vat of resin that puts in the part, puts in the build plate, and then pulls the part out of this vat of resin, which is pretty cool.

On both of these machines, they’re probably the most accessible for consumers and low-cost options. There have been huge advancements in materials. For FDM, you can now print with carbon fiber, wood infill, and on the SLA machine, you get really super high-resolution parts and different materials. You can do flexible, rigid, stuff that’s biocompatible, high-temperature. In fact, you can even make sample injection molding parts using the SLA to make the actual molds for ultra-low runs as an option. Another really good technology to explore that’s really up and coming is by HP, the Multijet Fusion. You end up with really high-quality looking parts, and the cost has really come down an order of magnitude. So that’s not going to look like a part that’s 3D printed, so that’s a big advantage for inventors that want to make something but they’re like, ‘I don’t really like the look of 3D printing.’ Multijet Fusion is a good option there.”

“Thank you so much. What I want to do… Oh, we had a question come in from Flavio. How much to make my face on 3D printing, eight by ten inch?”

“So, now we need to talk a little bit about CAD. There are two styles of different CADs. The one I specialize in is engineering CAD, where you have dimensions, constraints, and you’re building geometry. To build your face, you would need a sculpting program. So, I’m not as advanced in that type of modeling. I can model a bracket, but I can’t model a tree. So, you would need to start with getting a 3D render or 3D model of your face. On the FDM machine, it might be in the range of maybe 20 to 40 dollars to get a 3D print. If you wanted your whole head, that would be a pretty big build volume. 3D printing is often the way they price it is just by the time it takes to print. It doesn’t matter how complex it is; if it takes 10 hours to print, it’s this cost, and if it takes 20 hours to print, it’s this cost. Each print farm often has their own cost per hour to run the machines.”

“Absolutely, and there’s all sorts of different variables there. Flavio, imagine a cosplay, different if you want it to be gold-plated, nylon, whatever the different substrate is. So, Kevin, I want to flash this up really quick and share this with our community, real, maybe, watching this live or after the fact, and they want to get a hold of you. You shared with me that your number one place people find you is on Upwork, and I’ve heard a lot of work and heard a lot of good things. So this is you, right?”

“Yes, that’s me.”

“That’s awesome. So they can find you on Upwork, and you just search for Kevin H, Mechanical Engineer, 3D Design, and 3D Printing Specialist. So you see his hourly rate and kind of see his resume with some of the nice things that his clients have said down below here. So find him on Upwork if you want help. Certainly, you’re welcome to also just reach out to him via email. I got permission to share his email with you before the show. And so let me just share that with you right now. It’s kevin@makingproto.com. Is that the best one to use?”

“Yes, that’s correct.”

“Cool. Well, I’ll put you backstage, sir, and there may be some other live questions coming in. I will bring you on at the end of the show if they did come in, but thank you again for being with us. I appreciate it.”

“Thanks for having me on.”

“All right, awesome. We’re going to go to our regular program show and cover our Avo.com questions that have come in this week. I was looking this morning, no patent questions, but we have five trademark questions. There’s no shortage of trademark questions these days, so I want to get to those here. Thanks for waiting for anybody that was from Avo. This first question comes out of Los Angeles, California, and I’ll throw this over here on our Q&A page.

Do I need any certifications to sell candles in the U.S.? I have a candle product made of natural beeswax, and I’m not sure if I can sell it in the U.S. Well, okay, this isn’t necessarily a trademark question; this is kind of more along the lines of labeling or product liability. So, um, the answer here is I don’t really know in terms of certification. I know there are certain requirements with respect to labeling, especially products that will be flammable. But I might, as an attorney, I’ve got to say I don’t know, and I can’t give you an opinion on that because it’s not necessarily down the middle trademark.

If you’ve got a brand, obviously you’ve got a company you’re developing, it would be wise for you to look into protecting and registering a brand name for your product, maybe for your company, so you can distinguish yourself from other competitors in the candle space. You know, certainly, you’ve got a little niche in the natural, more organic if you will, candle market. That’d be important to emphasize. So if you have any questions with respect to that, please do reach out. I’ll be putting here. I’ll put it right now, actually, my personal email address with a and also a text-only phone number if you have any questions there as well.

Gerald, I see you have a question on patents. Welcome to bring that up and fire away if you have anything specific. I’ll get to it. Yeah, go ahead with that question, Gerald. Be ready when you submit it. All right, so let’s do our second question on Avo.

I think I haven’t pre-screened these, so some of these are potentially off-subject. All right, here’s the next question, a little bit longer format.

All right, is it legal to use a domain name which is trademarked from someone else? I used a domain name for more than three years, and I was planning to build my own website for the business. So I was trying to trademark my name, and I figured someone else did my name. So is it legal to use my name for business is a different business type from a trademark register? Um, so okay, yeah, this is interesting, so the interplay between domains and trademarks in terms of the legal right to do business under a name that is trademarked, law, okay? And in almost every case, trademark law will trump, will win out, and the individual or the company that can prove that they’ve been using a specific name, a wordmark, or a design logo in association with their goods or services will be able to prevent anyone else, right, from using that name for goods or services if they came after.

So, of course, it comes down to priority, when did they start using that name or mark in commerce? So if they had a date that predates your use, then they will get ownership. If all you’re doing is, in a way, squatting right on a domain name, you know, that is not going to be something that you’ll be able to hold onto, right? You’ve got to demonstrate that you’re actually selling or in the stream of commerce interacting with other parties, uh, interstate to have that prior use. So a lot of open under trademark law, and again, like I said, that will, in almost every case, overrule any type of ownership of a domain. So if you’ve got one that preexists, let’s say you had, you know, the dawn of the internet, you decided to just sit on Nike.com, uh, of course, Nike’s trademark already existed; you’re not gonna be able to hold that hostage over them; they will simply be able to get access to that over the domain registrar. Hope it helps you there. Thank you for your question.

All right, let’s jump to our third question on Avo.

Okay, so this is another question. Can I use the Dara knot or the Celtic knot as my USA company logo? Can I trademark it as my company look? Thank you, Julie. I am starting a new LLC, and I want to use one of these as my logo. Well, and, you know, good for you for asking questions first. This is going to be something that you don’t have to work with an attorney on specifically, uh, so I’m going to want to have you submit as much as you can about this specific type of knot, the Celtic knot, or the design you want to protect. Just like with patent law before we recommend you file or seek rights, you want to conduct a professional search to see if anyone else is already using that in the stream of commerce. For this first question, the important thing to look at will be, are you what goods or services are associated with that? It could very well be that, you know, the Celtic knot may already be, you know, registered or basically be not distinguishable in, um, you know, I’ll call it beverages, okay? Someone else is using that, but let’s say you’re hoping to start a moving company using the Celtic knot. So there may not be any conflicting uses in that industry or that classification. So that’s a good reason to get a trademark search done and have an attorney give you their opinion on should you seek registration and at the same time asking, hey, if I decide to use this logo or mark, am I at risk of being sued by a rights holder that already has those rights on the trademark side? So thank you for your question there. We’ll do one more question and bounce back and wrap up here.

Okay, fourth question on trademarks. This one is out of Waldorf, Maryland.

Looks like kind of a longer-form question. Let’s see if this will fit in the box.

All right.

Okay, can I do anything about someone using my name in the following situation: In 2013, I created a website using my first initial and last name, which is very unique, to run an online store where I sold shoes. In 2018, I didn’t want my name as my business anymore. I thought it was too personal, so I went through a name change for the business. I let the domain expire, and I go to check on the site today, and it’s currently being used by someone else to show inappropriate content. Yikes, my issue is my name is currently being used to show inappropriate content. My issue is my name is very unique and of African descent. This contact can be damaging to my name, and my old customers may still be associated. Oh yeah, you know, there’s a lot of things going on here. I will say this first and foremost, so in 2013, if you started using your name right, first initial, last name, and it was part of the branding, okay, that’s very important, not just the domain name, right, not just the website URL, but if you actually use that name in association with selling the shoes, right, let’s just say Jay Smith. If you sold the and on the tag, right, on the tag of the shoe or on the logo, um, it said Jay Smith, and that was the way your customers knew the product, the shoes were associated with you. Definitely, you definitely have common law trademark rights that go back to 2013, sounds like. Okay, I’m assuming that’s the case. Um, foot of reason, right? In 2018, you decided to change your name or change the logo or the trademark brand and move to a different name. When you do that, you sort of, you can lose rights in a way and abandon a trademark. And so if you have abandoned it, right, for really any amount of time, someone else can take over that brand and assume the rights. Now, it sounds like someone else picked that up, perhaps just because of the website traffic, right? Maybe there was some benefit to using that name, or it was known for something else. Okay, and so it sounds like they were not selling shoes. If someone’s sort of inappropriate content, maybe they’re selling the news or media or some other illicit type of behavior. So that’s not necessarily conflicting with shoes. Okay, so I think from a pure trademark perspective, I don’t think there’s a real good legal standing for you, um, especially if you’ve abandoned the mark in 2018, and it’s been several years since then; you haven’t really claimed ownership on that. The other side, of course, is on privacy law, okay? And so you may have a definite legal recourse for libel or sort of defamation if you can identify that it’s particularly pointing to you and there is, you know, direct privacy or misappropriation of your likeness in the sense of your name. Um, that will be a very separate discussion, and it sort of goes away from the traditional transactional IP, and you may want to proceed with, you know, a criminal action if you believe that has taken place, right? So I hope that helps you answer your question. I know it’s a tough situation sounds like. All right, let’s bring Kevin back on. I didn’t see any more of the fallout for you, Kevin. Did you want to comment on any of those questions at all or have anything pop up in your head? No, those are a little bit outside the realm of my expertise, but one thing I did want to mention, I think this might be interesting to your viewers here is this, think about how 3D printing is changing. I thought there’s a big fundamental shift from mass production to mass customization. So instead of making one product and selling a million of them, now you can have one product that’s customized a million times to each individual user, and it’s similar, we’re seeing other, we’re seeing this happen in other industries like, uh, think about Uber as a customized app, right? It’s customized; the experience is customized for your right, you want to be picked up at this location and go to this location. What we’re seeing in a consumer product or in the product world is the same sort of customization where people users are expecting, I want my car or I want my shoe or whatever it is to be all these checkboxes made specifically for me. And 3D printing allows you to make a specific thing for a specific person, and that kind of is going to be a shift that we’re going to continue to see growing in the next few years. Awesome, I love that, yeah, going from mass customization to more for custom. What was the phrase again? Mass production to mass customization. Mass production to mass customization. That’s neat; I like it; I definitely feel that based on what you’re saying. So thank you for that, thank you for your time. We’ll have you on again, I think if we can bring on a little more detail deep dive and look at some products they have you show off some of the work you’re doing down the line. So thank you again for coming on; we’ll let you guys go, have a good rest of your day, Kevin. Thanks for having me on. All right, thank you to all. We’ll be on next week at Wednesday 9 am, and I’m your host J.D. Houvener, the bold today show. Go big, go bold.

About the Author
J.D. Houvener is a Registered USPTO Patent Attorney who has a strong interest in helping entrepreneurs and businesses thrive. J.D. leverages his technical background in engineering and experience in the aerospace industry to provide businesses with a unique perspective on their patent needs. He works with clients who are serious about investing in their intellectual assets and provides counsel on how to capitalize their patents in the market. If you have any questions regarding this article or patents in general, consider contacting J.D. at https://boldip.com/contact/