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By J.D. Houvener
Patent Attorney and Founder

Absolutely. He has an expectation. Well, let’s go back to some of the other questions that we have here. Um, so would you like to provide any background information about yourself – some Danny details? Um, you know, where you grew up, your interests, um, anything like that?

Sure. I’m a, uh, I have – I’m a television, uh, big event television producer, director, live television, closer director. Um, I got my education at San Francisco State which is a wonderful television facility school and I have, for the past 50 years, done everything from run camera on the first, one of the Indy 500’s to, uh, doing worldwide global specials out of Gostola radio, uh, in Mass. Uh, I’ve been to Moscow three times. I’ve done two television programs out of Moscow. The last one was in 1991. It was on global warming, believe it or not. Wow. In conjunction – ahead of your time!

It was in conjunction with the Soviet Union working together. I did the program out of their television facilities in Moscow. I had to speak Russian as I was making my call because the crew didn’t speak English. Uh, I negotiated a feed from the near space station so we could interview their cosmonauts to talk about the depletion of the rainforest over Brazil and the smog over Mexico City. So we actually interviewed cosmonauts for the crux of our program out of Moscow.

So when I see things happening in Moscow today and – I watched it happen. It’s, it’s such a tragedy. I can’t believe that the Russian people – they’re the nicest people. They are the most gracious, gracious people. So this government thing is really bad and, uh, yeah I feel for the people. They’re already – they’re already under by their government, right?

Right. After 20 years I directed all of the Apple shows for Steve Jobs when Steve Jobs was there from the time he came back and tipped through his memorial ceremony. When there was a major announcement I was the director and Steve, Steve changed the way we do television. When we do big event television we rehearse, everybody rehearses first – the stage, where are they coming from, is the audience lit, do we do this, everything has to be, every detail has to be paid attention to.

They changed all that. He said, “I don’t want to see any of these lights. I don’t want to, I don’t want to work. I don’t want to wear a microphone. I’m going to do my… I’m going to rehearse my show.” And so we had to light it and get everything set up and then turn everything off. Wow. And then he would rehearse and he wouldn’t wear a microphone early on so I had to have the audio people put these little microphones at the stage so that I could hear something because we had to hear something to know what the heck we’re doing the next day.

So he only gave us one rehearsal with camera people so he trusted me for 20 years to do up to 13, 14 cameras with live music to present Apple’s image live for 13 million people with one rehearsal after they did all their work all that time to get that product ready. He gave me one rehearsal. So he chose and he trusted me and I appreciate it and I honor it.

So, on my way to one of those jobs – at this very nice leather jacket – and this zipper broke on it. The extension of the zipper broke and I was, I was going to an Apple show and I thought, oh gosh, they have this little nubby thing here on my jacket and I’m going to work. So I thought, I need to put something in that’ll work and I thought, oh, a paperclip! So I grabbed the paperclip and I put it in that little sock, that little thing, and sure enough it worked by pulling the zipper up and down, right? I thought, okay it works! And as I was doing it I thought, wait a minute – have I ever seen anything on a zipper before?

Yeah. And I thought – no. I went through my head, I thought no. I hadn’t because we didn’t have – we only have one zipper, right? People only have one. Exactly. Not another jacket, one in their pants, and it was like, but now we have backpacks with nine zippers on them that walk around full of them. They just don’t have anything, right? They’re wearing baseball hats and haze jackets and Chicago gear. Uh, they had something like that they could put something on their backpack. They’d buy a bunch of them, one for each of their fan-whenever they’re, each of their sports. Um… no.

I went to a friend of mine, Johnny Maine, who’s a director, and I said, “Hey Johnny, I’ve got this idea. Can you do some drawings?” And he did some drawings and then I talked to my attorney and I said, “Hey, do you know anybody?” They led me to JD and I sent the drawings off to JD and he, I guess, was the person who actually wrote the, uh, wrote the patent and then, uh, searched it and did all the research for it. Of course, like I mentioned, the details that they went through were efficient, which was important. They um, they wouldn’t listen. Uh, there wasn’t a lot of “times getting information” – so things moved along and then once the search was done we said okay, we’re gonna go.

Matt asked me a lot of questions about being succinct and where the patent was and, you know, he knew enough to know where a patent could be written with it because, right? Which was really critical to know, “Hey, that is patentable!” That is really important. So that knowledge is what gave me the confidence to do it. And then, and then we did it.

Um, and then the pandemic hit and it just stopped everything on, in the big event business. So that, so that shut down the money stream and everything else. Uh, mostly a way to the… Where we are today. And, um, we have very enthusiastic – we’re actually talking to a brand new high school elite basketball league that’s about to start. It’s going to start in November. Okay? It’s gonna go to March.

These are twelve…a conference of 12 elite high school basketball teams from across the country. Six on the East Conference, six on the Western Conference. Okay? The group is called The Grind Session and last year they had 35 teams – 28 boys teams and seven girls teams. They’ve now consolidated that to 12 – to a super conference of teams.

They’re looking for television broadcast rights, uh, I mean, it’s they’re going to have their – their national championships for mid-March, right? These players are spectacular – they’re like the greatest players from all the countries around the world from Nigeria, from Germany, Switzerland – they all come to the United States to play in these academies to get to division one schools or to professional contracts.

And so these, these, these conferences – this conflict – has been formed and Zip Jewel is going to be their official name, image and likeness medals for this new conference! Oh my goodness, congratulations Silva! Very special! I mean, it just sounds good – one achievement after the other in terms of getting your brand out there, getting the information out there, that’s fantastic!

Well it’s, you know what it really is – is you have to, you have to be ready for every little opening before, because if you don’t you’re going to miss things. I found these…I found this conference because I was reading the San Francisco Chronicle that we, I read our local newspapers to get information about what’s going on to see where we can apply, right? They talked about this official tournament that was happening at a junior college. It was only in an article that was this big. If I read that article, I would not have known that they existed because I read that article – I went there and I met the Chief Operating Officer of The Grind Session. I showed him what we had. He said, “This is going to blow up. I wanna, I need to be part of this.” And that was, that was like seven months ago. And we just had a meeting on, um, which today is Monday. On Friday – or Tuesday – he had a meeting on Friday, solidifying the letter of intent – what we’re going to be doing with them, uh, how we’re going to work together. And so I’ve now written that letter and the next step is starting to make it, to get an agreement put together so we can start creating Zip Tool medals for their teams, for their players, and for their league and for their league championships.

And then we’re taking technology and we’re moving it into other areas into necklaces but also into cards and…uh, it’s because our logos are really super on letterman jackets too! So we’re going to make championship jackets. We’re going to design pack a championship jackets for them. We have a great design team. Our, uh, who I also found – our design team. I have three designers. Uh, Ashley Brown is, uh, are, I think, our designer. Uh, she…I met her because I… Zip Tool has a purpose.

The purpose for Zip Tool is to help young people do things together and succeed together. When you have a Zip Jewel, it symbolizes honor and respect. When you have one, it’s a tangible reminder to make a difference in yourself, and your family, and your community every day. So…so when you’re using Zip Jewel and you’re connecting with friends or teammates and you’re doing something together – that medal then becomes a reminder. Uh, and and particularly our high school kids who can start having their name, image and likeness on medals, right now they can they can sell them, get a fan base, get a following, and help provide for their family at a very, at an age of 16 now and 17.

So so this league is up for the, is of those, of that age – 16, 17 high school – the lead believes in what the jewel represents. The league is there for the same reason – they’re a non-profit so they’re here…where I said to them, “There’s a new movie out right now called ‘Air,'” yes, about Michael Jordan, right? Yes. So the story of Air is really about a small new sports company and a star athlete. Well, Zip Jewel is a new small sports company and The Grind Session has a bunch of potential Michael Jordans! [Laughter] The difference is that we have a purpose – The Grind Session and Zip Tool have a common purpose.

We’re here for the youth. Zip Tool is going to fix playgrounds with our profits and connect the grind session schools with zip tool schools and give athletes, those young athletes, back to their communities so they’re always connected and they’re not leaving and pulling off and not having any contact. It’ll be easier to connect communities group by group. And what’s amazing – and I commend you – because you, you are running a business and your business is also really contributing in so many social aspects, in a way that, um, you know you would hope to see.

Well okay, so let’s go to another question. So you were in California, like we said you were in television, in a very um, you know, successful producer, and you develop so many um different notable shows and informational um presentations. So let’s see… Now that you are also an inventor, uh, you are the inventor of Zip Tool, and an entrepreneur – what are some of the most important, what are some challenges that you think face inventors and entrepreneurs?

Well new technology is hard! If it was easy because I thought new technology was needed and so since it’s needed, oh, as soon as it’s there…well and people want it! Well, if they don’t know what it is they’re afraid of it. They don’t know what it is! And so that, that was a shock to me, to be honest with you. It hit me like… I couldn’t believe it. It was like, “Wait a minute, this is, this is really cool!” Look at it, look at it. Hold it, isn’t it, yeah – it really is! Well uh…well, do you want some, uh? Uh and so if there’s a…there’s there’s an education that needs to come with it. There’s a constant message that has to be with it. You know, we have a meaning, that’s the number one true love token thrill. So when you buy one or have one you, you’re buying it because you care for that person or that team enough that you’re going to wear a symbol that’s also going to be a reminder to you it’d make a difference, absolutely!

And so with that though, nice people aren’t used to it. I used to making a difference, even hearing that “it’s going to make a difference” – when I say we’re going to fix playgrounds, that almost throws people down! It doesn’t, because we’re more…there’s more companies that are being more and more conscious about those things but as we were starting, people weren’t giving back and they weren’t doing these things and I was talking about these very sort of futuristic thoughts about what a company could be and do and “here’s what we can do” and we can connect and… And it wasn’t, you know, timing is a lot is a big deal and, uh, presumptive timing because it’s…these things that go along… timing is – you you have to be ready when the timing is there and you have to… you you you can’t not know where you’re going. The number one, you really have to know where you’re going and, uh, oh – that’s number one! And when you do know where you’re going, you have to be…people want to take you other places. They want to say “Oh, it should be bigger! Or oh yeah they can do that! Or oh it’s that” or whatever it is and you have to just not, uh, you have to understand focus, yes – no! They’re standing still and you’re moving forward, right? Listen to people who are standing still you can’t really listen to them. You can listen but you don’t take what the, players meaning because they’re not moving! They’re, they’re moving. They could actually see things moving with you, right – walking next to you and go “Oh we’re moving!” But when they’re just standing there and they just have a thought it’s like “Well I think…” It’s like, “Okay well thank you very much for your thought. Uh, I’m gonna keep going in my focus direction!” Yes. Hey you know, if I look backwards or sideways I cannot see forward, right?

Right. So you talked about technology being challenging and hard, trying to stay focused, not getting pulled in the wrong direction. Um, what about the patent and trademark process? Is it important that you learn, as an inventor, as an entrepreneur, about the patent and trademark process? Did you feel like you learned a lot as you went along?

Well here’s the thing – I believe in the process and I believe in the patent whole idea. At the same time, getting going is really important. When you get something and you’ve got to get going, get going! I would have to say, in my thing, is I’ve just been doing it now for a long time and the patent has helped me, by the way, every step of the way. Okay? I’m… If I wouldn’t know about the patent and I thought “What am I really doing this with?” because I’m saying that…that is important, that really helped me at the same time. If I had – if I didn’t have the patent – I had the funds, would I have just gone ahead with the thought? And yeah, because then if you meet somebody who you can share…you don’t necessarily have to own something to own it, you know? And so that’s part of what I would say is, you know, if the patent’s very important I think if you have something that’s patentable you should patent it. And if you’re gonna patent, that you should probably do it with people who, who are in the moment – that they want patents. And I guess that’s another thing about that – I really love about Bold. Is the and I won’t say age because I don’t think it’s the age but it’s the age of thinking – he’s young and it’s young! And so, uh, that’s very important because that enthusiasm and that knowledge is what carried me, uh, forward in encouraging me to, to continue on. Right now we’re…where we are, I’d say you know every single part of it has been wonderfully valuable. I love to hear that! That’s absolutely wonderful and I think you’re right also, especially – JD our managing partner – he, um…he is very youthful and forward-thinking when it comes to, you know, people’s ability to get things done and to, um, you know, to make things happen.

Um, and it’s funny because we have several… We mentioned Steve Jobs. We frequently see quotes about Steve Jobs and that’s kind of embodied who he was – very daring, very bold. So it does seem, you seem to be on the same, you know, path in terms of your mindset. Um, so you’re currently selling your product and so I want to give you a chance to sort of… If, um, tell more people about that. So where are you selling? How can people obtain it? Do you license your patent to other people? Um, at this time, or not yet? Have you thought about licensing your patent?

Okay. So…one – uh, starting with, uh, at the beginning of that…is we’re beginning our sales now. Um, it’s been an education process. The pandemic really, you know, we don’t have…we don’t have the funding. You know, we’re a tiny, tiny, tiny little startup, right? My, my day job has been, has been keeping Zip Jewel alive and my day job – about three years ago… So, uh, so we have not been able to get out the way we have wanted. At the same time, timing is a big deal as I said – and the timing you get this with The Grind Session is a huge opportunity, uh, for sales! We’re looking for national television coverage. Uh, for their teams so… And they’re counting on us to, to bring what we bring, both residual and creative creatively in general – of what, what.

We’re Nike, we’re the new Young Sports company, and our mission is for Michael Jordan as exactly the whole. So they’re excited about what we’re bringing, we’re excited about being on every backpack that we can possibly be on. We’re looking for every one person to have it. We’re also just now today, we’re doing baseball cards for minor league baseball, former, so that we can introduce it into the basketball.

They can have their zip fuel card that’s less expensive, and then more people, more young people can have them. And then you want to get, when you want to have something more, and say, ‘Hey, I need to get that, I need to get that little now.’ Right, right. So it’s a great exciting way for us to get everybody to market it. For the Giants, they say it with their 4-1-5 Club, you know they have, I don’t know how many thousand people they have in their club right, that night. That’s a couple, that’s a few thousand cards. Well, if they start becoming the giveaways, they will have the power to be, you can play games in the middle of a game with a card. Now you don’t even have to have a medal necessarily, you just, you get a card that’s a giveaway for them, that they give away, that bobblehead balls, they give away things. So we know their price point, their price point is four dollars, basically, 450 is a lot for them. And so those are at the upper end of that, and so they were a little, and because it’s new technology, they’re a little hesitant. The cards are just pretty much, ‘Hey, take a look at this and this is what it’ll cost you,’ you know? Right exactly, I think there’s so much opportunity there.

So, how about also if you want to talk a little bit about, you know, your website, you know, how do people order if they want to order from your website? Yes, well it’s at zipjoule.com, and it’s our store there. So you can search through the store, the cards are not on the store, the cards are brand new. I just condemned it literally, last week. I started to think, you know, these, well we’ve been working on it, but not literally. I’ve been working on it for about six months on how to create these portals that would give because we have, we first put a QR code on a zip joule, to see if it would work, because they told me it wouldn’t work but I knew it would work. So we put it on a zip tool, we tested it, it worked. Then I knew that if they go to one, then there’s got to be a way for us to make a network out of it. So now we can create your own personal network, everybody their own personal network. My business is television so I always look at things from the broadcasting, education, training, communication, and how we do it better. Well, this was the gift of a lifetime. When I quoted this until I held it in my hand and I thought how great it felt, I knew, you know what this is going to be, this is going to be a key, something. And then technology came with quick response codes and there was the beginning of the key and then I said, you know this is a key to a portal, we can put more of them just one QR code on this idea where we can have multiple on one thing. So now we created our portal where you can now go to any of these sites. If you click on the Giant 415 Club, you go to walk up, you can buy, you can buy stuff on the scoreboard, you can go shop in their store, you can do anything you want. It’s all customizable. So we’re on the cusp of this networking, collecting thing that I and I’m ready for it because in 2001 I formed the company called Global frequency, okay? It was a video database company.

It was because I saw a video on a computer and said, ‘Hey wait a minute we have they have all these broadcast rights and everything. I can help the producer become the network and I can do it on this box, this box that’s right in front of me. So I formed a company and did it Global 360 to be it to be a video database company and I planned on having three-minute movies. Well, that’s Now YouTube.

And back in the day when we first started getting in-car navigation systems, I thought, wait a minute, one of these days people are going to want to go down the street without ever having gone down that street. Right, so I’ve got three cameras and had a custom rig made and I put it on the top of my truck and I drove the streets of Petaluma, California, and I came back and I meshed them together and I shot and I drove you could see the left side, the center or the right-hand side which is now Google Earth.

I had computers which stopped and started the cameras. We had it tied to the GPS system. And you’ve always been very inventive, you say that you’ve always been very inventive. Yes, it’s turned out that way. I started a newspaper called the Sausalito swim in the sixth grade with my buddy Peter Walker and then we didn’t have a yearbook in the eighth grade at Richardson Bay school. So I did the yearbook with Peter Lawford and some other friends, yeah. And then Sarah Fell High School, and they didn’t have a student store, yeah, I started the student store. So these things have happened, I guess that’s, I guess so because now the video thing was really important because I’m in video and I believe that that’s a new format that we should be watching not necessarily with 360 just one 220. Right, we have a monitor I have a screen over here that’s custom, that see that’s yes that’s the only screen on Earth that’s shaped like that and that’s how that’s how I play the videos.

I took them to Tahoe and shot waterfall so it’s just like you’re sitting that’s the waterfall. I’ve got powers and powers of that footage that you will be seeing one of these days because it’s still here the rig is still in my closet we just haven’t been able to build that business because we’re trying to build this business to get money to build up that’s your next one if you see a need and you go for it you try to solve it you try to provide a problem for it which is definitely you know the definition of an inventor and I commend you on it I think I will have to wrap up Phil only because of the next sort of appointment but it I um wanted to kind of end with a couple of things one would you be okay if we wanted to share I know you provided previously a picture of yourself with the black and the patent can we share that with this testimonial on the website yes you may okay um any thoughts you’d like to share about bold and our team would you refer our Law Firm to other friends or family who are or people who are interested in pursuing a patent or trademark oh I would recommend old at the highest level at every level from from knowledge to uh to personal connection to um do thoroughness um yeah human type is a big deal and and Youthful thinking is a big deal and old has officers fantastic I’m so so glad to hear that Phil I uh it’s been a pleasure to talk to you silly and I just wish you all of the tech staff moving forward with Jewel and the causes that you you are trying to support with it and anything we can do to help or assist in that process we’d be happy to do um and just to you know to to see sort of your enthusiasm and to know that you know people are not just by necessarily profit or fame but to really give back um you know and have a business is really nice to see wow thank you really nice meeting you thank you very much.

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/