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By J.D. Houvener
Patent Attorney and Founder

Um, okay, so let’s see. Um, so when did you start – you, you went to school for business – did you start a business right away? You said you went to IT. When did you kind of start thinking about, you know, owning something of your own and inventing?

Sure. And I’ve always had the creative mind. Uh, initially I wanted to get into the marketing advertising, uh, aspect and it was a little tough again when I graduated in 2008. But I’ve always held that, you know, innovative, uh spirit and have always come up with whether it’s funny puns for my friends or jokes or, you know, funny commercials for, uh, you know, businesses or inventions. Uh, whether it’s, you know, mobile applications, uh, or in this case, uh, the roller coaster. I’ve always had that creative, fun, innovative, uh, uh spirit to me that, that, that brought me here and we were just talking before we went live.

Do you mind showing that, that cool creative marketing piece you were talking about?

Sure, so this is it. This is the roller coaster. Hold a little bit closer so you can see that cool font. Um, and so I’ll talk just a quick little about it. Uh, it’s come a long way in stages but basically it’s, uh, the world’s only rolling drink beverage coaster. And what’s great about it is it’s made with this Styrofoam, this really foam material that actually pushes out so it allows you to put bottles, any size, can actually even one of my friends, uh, uh, put a wine bottle in there. Uh, was able to fit that in there as well. So was able to really hold any, any, uh beverage and you can roll it to your friends. You know, we, we have a bunch of games that, uh, some of our friends and family have been using and honestly it’s actually prevented spills. We had a couple of dogs run into tables and every other, uh, beverage on the table spilled except for the roller coaster. So, uh, it’s a lot of fun and it’s come a long way and it’s just going to get better.

Very, very cool! And and you brought one of your business cards. You’ve got a cool saying there.

I did. We call it the the Rack Back, short for roller coaster. And if you know anything about the Rat Pack, uh you’ll get a kick out of that.

Well and I actually don’t. I’ve heard about it like gangsters, right? Um, rat – it, it was like Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. and, you know, a bunch of those old timey singers who all used to hang out?

Got it, alright. So nothing to, uh, to evil there right? Okay, okay.

Well thank you for showing us your invention. I mean, so let’s talk about, think way back – share with, uh, with us how, you know, what was it like as you were maybe gathering information and thinking about gosh, should I get a patent or not? How did you kind of educate yourself? Where did you go look to get information?

Um, at that point, uh, I was, you know, originally I had kind of just been messing around with my friend’s AutoCAD and his 3D printer and it didn’t really go too far. You know when I started looking into – I really started doing the preliminary research to see if there was anything like it, uh, just on Google and Google patents. And there wasn’t anything out there. So I said, you know what, let’s, let’s at least – I’m going to at least reach out to some local engineers and see how feasible this is. Um, so after working with them and kind of moving along, um, I started looking and said, “Hey, in parallel I would love to, to protect myself, even though it’s in the earlier stages.” I don’t want someone to jump ahead of line and, and, you know, pull it out from right under me, uh, so to speak. So that’s when I started looking, um, you know, for, for patent lawyers and, um, you know, I read, read some reviews, um, and, and yours came up and just the Google reviews and it had so many, uh, just shining reviews. I, I couldn’t help but at least, at least reach out and take a look. Um, and that’s when I decided to give you a call.

Excellent! And, um, as you were starting that process, um, did you – I mean not necessarily with our firm – but did you have any, um, major barriers or concerns or things you were worried about as you kind of got started on that process in in hiring us or kind of getting started?

Sure. You know signing the NDA with the engineers, um, you know, that protects you so much. And they kept saying, you know, “It’s not really worthwhile to get the patent and you know, you should really focus your money on you know, engineering it and getting it out there and no one’s probably going to take your idea.” And, you know, after putting all this time and money, I just, I just said, “Well I don’t, I don’t want to take that chance.” You know, I don’t want that risk. Um, so so that’s why I said, well, you know, I, I work full-time job otherwise. So you know, I was financially able to, uh, you know, kind of at least investigate both, both at the same time in parallel.

And in the way that my now fiance puts it is, you know, “A lot of people gr up they put their money into restoring cars or you know, uh, checking out their, you know, whatever, or, or other hobbies – you know I never really did that too much except for, you know, some investing. But so this, this is my, this is my side hobby!” Yeah and it’s been great!

Yeah cool. Thank you! And then hopefully it’s more than a hobby, so, so tell us – more than a hobby, yes, yes! On going to market. So, have you sold any? What is the plan to sell?

Sure. Um, so I’ll be honest – originally I had been going through, as I mentioned, the engineers who had helped me build all the prototypes and unfortunately the manufacturing per unit really wasn’t close to where I wanted to get. Um, so actually through one of your networks, uh, I was able to, uh, reach out to two gentlemen and they’ve been able to really work with their engineers to say, “Hey, can we get the same kind of quality product to where we can actually sell it and make a profit?” And, sure enough, you know, it took, took a little tinkering and a lot of research on their side, but we’ve gotten there and, uh, have just finished manufacturing the first 3,000 at the price point we want. It’s actually I think in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean as we speak and, uh, should, should be here in the next couple of weeks, uh, and ready to go on Amazon stores and, uh, and through my website as well. So!

Oh, congratulations! That is so cool! I actually know that. Thank you for that update! Um, so in that vein, so Amazon – tell us why you picked Amazon and any, any foreseeable concerns or or opportunities that you, that you like there?

For sure, uh, you know, as many, uh, in this in this business are aware, uh, you know, Amazon has been known here and there to kind of borrow some ideas and label it as “Amazon Basics,” and things like that. You know, I had actually reached out through, uh, through some other vendors and, and I went to some local liquor stores and party stores and, and I’ve done so, you know, done some sales here and there with friends. But really to get it on the market, people just say, “Hey listen I don’t, you know, have cash on me now but I got Amazon Prime and, you know, it’ll be there in two days and, you, I just think it’s a great opportunity!” And actually through one of your workshops, you had mentioned, um, insurance – and that’s actually something, you know, once it goes on their platform I’m going to be definitely investigating just as an extra layer of protection to myself on top of the patents that I have.

That is great! And, and one thing that comes up a lot. Um, and I know you have worked with Matt on our team on the trademark side – tell us how, how that’s going to be able to help you, you know, as you go in the market!

Yeah, absolutely. Um, and actually it was a funny, funny story just, uh, originally trying to figure out, you know, what the best name would be because as you know in trademarks to get it registered it can’t be a complete, it can’t be a descriptor of the product. So I couldn’t label it “Rolling Coaster” because that would be a descriptor, right – obvious. But what he said you can do is you can say, “Oh well, if you actually wanted to hyphenate it.” Um, and so we ended up doing that and it was we were still a little bit iffy as to whether the, the, you know, trademark registration would get it registered and say that’s okay. Sure enough they give the thumbs up! Um, and I really think it’s just clever – right? It’s “Roller-Coaster” – you know it sounds cool. Uh, it’s very unique. Yeah, there’s nothing like it!

Wonderful! Now you did say you have a website and there’s a place for your, uh, for you to make direct sales. Um, go ahead and give a quick plug to, uh, to the company and where we can find that product.

Absolutely! And again it’ll be on Amazon soon so you’ll be able to, uh, look it up on there but currently you can purchase it on Roller-Coaster dot net – no “Y”, no spaces, no other any other characters – and, uh, it’ll have the full, um, you know, fulfillment, so returns, you know, customer service, everything like that. But feel free to check it out and it’s got lots of cool pictures and, uh, game ideas and everything like that!

Wonderful! Well again, congrats! Before we wrap up, got a final question here. Um, thinking back to, you know, the work you’ve done with us – any final thoughts about, uh, the team here at Bold?

I just have to say: all around all-star team! Every, every one on the team is MVP in my book! You, uh, who, Christine – just everyone! Uh, from day one, I couldn’t have got the level of service and satisfaction through anyone else, I believe. And honestly, I’m not just, I’m not just boosting you up. This, it’s been true! Uh, you’ve helped me network with the people that have helped me bring it to where I am today. And honestly, couldn’t, couldn’t suggest a better place! Uh, you has have been by far the best part, the easiest part of this whole, whole experience. So, been loving it!

Thank you, David! Such kind words – I appreciate that very much! I will, um, yeah, it’s nice to know that, you know, it’s obviously not – we’re we’re working hard to make sure it’s a good patent and a good trademark – but what you said about the networking. I mean that, that’s, I mean your story, the fact that you’re, you’re, you know, excited about landing this 3,000 unit, you’re gonna – I mean we’re hoping you see true market success, right? We don’t want you to just get the patent; we want to have you make money and then some with it. Absolutely encouraging. So we’ll have to have you back for an update, uh, maybe in as short as a few months or a year maybe to see how things are going once that new product hits, and, um, we’ll talk about marketing and how things are going with the business, uh, in the future!

Yeah, alright! Well absolutely, we’ll wrap up the recording here so just this quick second unless there’s anything else you want to say on the record: Go Bal! Go IP! Go gold! Be patent! Be yeah!

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/