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By J.D. Houvener
Patent Attorney and Founder

[Music] first in the tank is a modern version of a traditional service business

[Music] hi sharks my name is Mark hi my name is Michael we started at knife sharpening service by males knife fade a super simple idea disrupting an old trade by Ecom for the right shark we’re offering the opportunity to invest four hundred thousand dollars for 15 of our company that’s a lot of knives a knife is something most Americans touch every day yet knife sharpening beautiful ancient craft has almost been lost and has not been digitalized pretty much everyone has dull knives at home people love using a sharp knife but very few people know how where we even have the time to get those knives sharpened and that’s the very reason we started my faith so this is how simply Works order online receive our secure postage paid envelope that guarantees safe shipping take your doll knives into the envelope back in the mailbox and off it goes and our expert nicemith will work their magic they will recreate that razor sharp edge and your knives will come back to you sharper than the day you bought them all within about a week so sharks who wants a slice of our business I detect the accents all right let’s start there um Mark and I moved to the U.S to start up this business we have a pastor of building uh Global Brands and businesses where did you move here from We’re from Sweden both I’m originally from America I grew up in Sweden and moved to America okay and what was your best product that you sold I founded uh Happy socks happy socks I love those yeah it was you yeah yeah you’re still involved with happy stuff yes I am but I’m not operational anymore I’m on the board and owner how did you come up with the knife idea itself we saw something back in our country that was similar but towards more towards the the commercial side and we’re thinking about why isn’t this done for a consumer and simplify it get an envelope get the knives in fixed price just quick turnaround and how much do you charge so go walk us through we would sharpen an average at ten dollars a knife for everything included minimum package for knives doesn’t matter the size like they’re serrated there’s um what the bread knife you know that’s what we simplified the traditional life sharp is in a farmer’s market they’ll go by inch and they charge different we’ve made it very simple it’s per blade doesn’t matter the size it doesn’t matter exactly and even scissors it’s a kitchen scissors scissors goes in the hunting knives scissors too guys I’m a little confused something’s bugging me okay you Michael are clearly a successful entrepreneur so you’ve obviously made a fair bit of money why are you here seeking money if you’ve got a sort of pretty big stack full already I have previously failed on the US market um we had another brand going into the American Market without having American people involved in the business having the funds raising and how you actually drive growth of the American Market I’m not going to do that mistake again we put out two strategies either we go to venture capital and get Venture Capital funded deal on it or we go All-American on what we have seen as full-on American show how you reach out and the power of the tank initials thoughts there David what are you thinking about knife Aid uh interestingly I just had a few knives sharpened down at a hardware store and they were talking about the the process not being digitalized I mean you just sort of that little uh that little thing um and so that’s not true because they just slapped at new machine sharp side up you know lasers following it and spent several minutes just kind of polishing that thing came back super sharp you know I I had four knives they were wrapped up in a nice little package I walked away with it I think it was seven bucks a knife um and it was super easy the problem though is that they’re gonna be pulling that machine out of this local hardware store because they’re making no money on it so the part that from where it kind of falls down is that the average American wants a sharp knife the average American does has no idea what a sharp knife is and and how valuable a tool it is they the average American gets their food handed to them through a window in a building I think you got a really good point we have a knife sharpener but how often do I bring it out you know there’s you know I have one that’s decent and it’s good enough and it just chops it but you’re right um you know the price point you know 60 bucks I think that’s what it was we didn’t have a whole lot of time to look at it but um you know it’s uh it sounds like a decent amount of money so you know they’re kind of trying to address you know that definitely upper class middle to upper class yeah Scott are very nice already ten bucks a knife 10 bucks a knife four knife minimum and that includes everything all the shipping they send you the packaging that’s really not that bad for me that would work because I mean I put put my knife you know every time I use it I put the knife on the steel right and then you start cutting tomatoes and it works great but every every several months or so they really just kind of need to be sharpened so that’s something I would use I just I’m not sure that there’s enough people yeah right yeah I I and to that point I agree yeah that’s one of the things I’m thinking about is just demand are are there is there enough demand because I mean obviously people in the upper class are going to buy this I see that um your proposition for them but people middle class or lower I mean they’d rather sharpen the knives themselves and not even sharpen them at all when they’re like they’re just not even cut any fruit or or food and just go to the uh fast food restaurant and just have them give you the fluids themselves on the flip side though is the Ginsu knife Etc and Etc and Etc right how many late night sales of this knife is so sharp has just gone crazy and they’ve done it for years and years and years so maybe there’s an opportunity instead of just saying oh we’ll sharpen your knives it’s like well why it’s like because you don’t want to throw it away and buy a new one you don’t do that anymore do you you you sharpen your knives right so you can kind of make it an environmental play I think there’s plenty of opportunity for it but there’s going to have to be an education uh component to it that that increases that demand like a farm is mentioning it’s like how do we make that demand exist right as a big part of our branding and marketing and then and then sell the service I think there’s lots of opportunity there but there’s going to be some work involved too just based on how they’re uh that they uh their pitch right now I’m not sold but I mean I think if they change the value proposition and add more maybe okay let’s talk about this we had to talk IP a bit here in the last couple of minutes or one minute if we can from Patton’s perspective I didn’t see they had any filings or anything you know it’s it’s a lot of what’s been done before but they are perhaps putting a method in place um if there’s something unique possibly about those steps right putting it in an envelope maybe the packaging itself could be unique it’s an area where they may be able to provide some leg up over competitors trying to come in and you know uh you know compete with them so I’m always curious about where they might fit in so packaging and then the method of actually performing that are both options from patent protection and then on the trademark side I want to see if you guys had a thought when I first saw it I kind of said oh knife Aid KitchenAid okay is there any concern there what do you think about the mark itself um both words have a potential to uh have a likelihood of confusion just based off of other marks with Aid and knife Aid runs at Rite Aid you have different type of AIDS KitchenAid um so that’s a consideration but I don’t think it would be a full-on uh uh a a rejection of their the if they try to register that trademark because there’s enough distinction there um you know it’s not going to be it’s not merely descriptive you know they’re they’re talking about fixing aiding right helping a knife that’s probably enough you’re thinking unless there’s any other prior user or prior yeah yeah it’s it’s one of those it’s one of those uh selections where a search is absolutely critical and what I usually tell people when it comes to picking a name for something it’s like yeah pick whatever you want just don’t spend any money on it until you talk to me there you go yeah do it

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