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By J.D. Houvener
Patent Attorney and Founder

My product and business is the Bev buckle I am seeking fifty thousand dollars in exchange for 10 equity in my business the Bev Buckle is one of the most interesting inventions America has ever seen picture this you’re at a sporting event a concert fishing at the river and you feel the need to free up your hands of your beverage oh my God man man oh that is a great idea it’s the only book hold your beverage

[Laughter] who would want one I could design the face plate to have any brand any logo and any color licensing branding so keep that cold beverage close and those hands-free because it’s the Bev Buckle the Bam Bam baby how did you come up with this idea I was in college and I’m out with my friends a lot and we went to bars having some good times and I just out of habit I kept doing this and I thought to myself man if I could just hold my beer hands-free I could uh maybe show off my poor dance moves or

so I’m gonna go to I’m gonna go to Matt first Bev Buckle all right a couple different thought processes here so um one the name in my mind I mean you tell me your products called Bev Buckle I know exactly what that is which is always a red flag right I’m thinking nearly descriptive you know what’s wrong with that walk me through it what’s wrong with that yeah so if a consumer can instantly identify what the product is based on the name right without any use of imagination then the trademark is what we would call merely descriptive meaning that there’s no imagination needed to connect the product or the service to the mind of the consumer so in this case Bev Buckle I’m like man this this is one of two things in my my world this is a this is a bug you know belt buckle that holds a beverage or like it’s a belt buckle that can open a bottle right it’s one of the two it’s it can’t be anything else and it is what it is so it’s it’s descriptive um so the USPTO I’m looking really quickly at the applications here yeah yeah but they registered but they registered because they filed what’s called a 2f amendment to their application or two application meaning that they’ve been in use for at least five years and they can attest that they’re the only ones using this product name and people have come to know them as the source for these beverage belt buckles so they got the registration with the caveat that it’s only because they’ve been using it for five years continuously that is awesome that is a cool example of sort of that secondary meaning is that what that is yeah that that can save a lot of clients especially clients obviously that have been around for a while and they might have a pretty descriptive trademark we can sometimes finagle it so that we can get through the application process with the descriptive trademark using a 2f claim right on when he said invention he went on and later in the presentation and did say he had a patent um he wasn’t lying he was lying let me just show that off real quick and get patent nerdy a bit um but I do have his U.S patented granted in 2012 so a while ago oh nice he actually used the term patent correctly because a lot of times I have a patent it’s like well you have a provisional patent application or maybe filed a non-provisional application that’s one of my favorite things that also just grinds my gears the truth is you’re actually probably right during the film this maybe in 2009 or 2010 pitch to the Sharks and it was still pending he didn’t know that he would actually get to the Finish Line uh but he did in 2008 you can see down here your father provisional yeah you find that kind of there in smaller print um so he’s got 20 years if I’m wrong from that date from the 2009 date so it’s still in force I mean until 2 20 28 of 2029 um and it isn’t just on the the way that it looks they got a Utility Patent and a briefly look uh Dylan I’d love to get your feedback actually uh you gotta scroll to the bottom to see what indeed they actually own right uh it’s a buckle darn Buckle is the device claim looks like they’ve got you gotta have a back plate a Fastener a front plate a single hinge and a stop

sounds like some parts and pieces so you know I think it’s a it’s a it’s good to see a you know a structural claim looks like a yeah it’s good they were able to get claims on the actual device itself so that’s gonna that’s gonna be good in terms of infringement so what one thing I was going to say you know if it was something that you know hadn’t been filed on yet I say hey you know you’d want to think about a couple things one is filing on the the device itself but if that’s going to be difficult a lot of times it can be good to file on a method of use because that’s it can be a lot harder to find prior art on the method of actually using something because if you just have that thing you know examiners can say well it doesn’t matter whether this is on a belt buckler or not what really matters is you know this specific thing and could look at just general drink holders like in a car or something right yeah right and that’s always a problem you know so it’s like you know it can be helpful to go in with with method claims that you know a method of using and you know putting on a belt and then how you you know uncoupled you know you know undo it and put a bottle in it it’s going to be a lot harder for an examiner to reject something like that so that could be a sort of a way to you know guarantee or you know get closer to guarantee getting some of the issue but it’s awesome there to get uh system claims on this right yeah and David I think on point here you know a lot of these folks pitching on Shark Tank it’s a it’s a single product and they’re trying to call it a business I think that may be one of the issues and they did talk about sales he was able to sell four thousand dollars worth of the product before pitching to the sharks um they went back and forth Barbara actually said she would put in 50 000 for 51 okay um but after kind of behind closed doors she ended up backing out perhaps after doing some diligence um the huge upside good news that they’re selling a million dollars worth of these every year um they’re listed they have their own website they’re on Amazon um I was blown away so this is yeah this is one of those novelty products I I have a couple clients like this that sell something kind actually they’re they’re beverage related and they kill it on these problems there’s the America I mean that you can just see the logo so um having a Utility Patent like that it uh you’re not limited in terms of what types of designs to put on there um you know the way that the ornamentation right it’s it’s you’re not locked in it’s just a functional term that has those four or five elements that we talked about um any competitor and fringer will be unable to right um use that put that into the market so um JD when does this patent expire when are you and I gonna get it on this Bev buckle you know a few more years look like 2028 or 2029. I’ll be ready I’ll be ready it’s on my outlet calendar now I’m ready

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