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By J.D. Houvener
Patent Attorney and Founder

Hi, everyone! I’m J.D. Houvener, your host of the Bold Today’s Show where you, the inventor, entrepreneur, or business owner, get your daily inspiration to make the world a better place.


Hey, today we’re talking about our favorite inventor this week, Lonnie Johnson. He is the genius, as I mentioned yesterday, of the Super Soaker. Right, this is the toy from Lisa my childhood, and I think a lot of yours, where we would fill up a bottle of water, plug it into this device, pump it up, and pull the trigger. Thank you, Tube, lasts up to 50 feet and claimed pretty awesome toy still fun today, 20-25 years later.

So today, I want to focus on just reading the first page of the patent. So we’ve got a hold up here, this is patent number five million seventy-four thousand four hundred thirty-seven. And so, well, that sounds like a big number, just a frame of reference that we’re now over ten million, so this is about halfway through. And as far as quantity goes, it was only about 30 years ago in 1991 this was the issue, so just a way to look at these documents as you begin your journey and investigating how in the world I’m gonna get through this process.

When you look at a patent on the front page, you can tell right away who the inventors were. And so you can see with brackets 76 that’s the section of the front page, it’s got a listing in all the inventors, and you can see right there, interestingly enough, Mr. Johnson is named on the very top, and he’s not even the first named inventor, we have a Mister 200 was this co-inventor. So all the inventors must be listed, that’s a statutory requirement, so you have all the inventors listed, so that’s just one of many things you can see right from the front page of this first page of this patent.

Also, on the front page, the inventors and the attorneys will select one image or one drawing to represent what the invention is about. Well, this does a great job, obviously, you can see this is the great side profile of the squirt gun. What’s interesting is that many times, especially when it comes to software or computer-implemented inventions, the drawing selected isn’t always representative of what the heart of the invention is. This is especially true for those images that aren’t mechanical art, you can’t really touch and feel the entirety of the invention, and so you can’t always judge a book by its cover and much like you can’t always look at a front page of a pen and really understand what it’s all about.

Last thing I’m talking about here today is the abstract. This is probably the easiest part of a patent document to read, and it should be the place that you start, assuming you are a lay person, right, a non-patent expert here. You want to start with the abstract, get an idea first what in the world this invention is all about. The attorneys and the craft of this part of the application, to be perfectly limited, right there and provide enough information in layman’s terms, right in common simple grammar, so that’s not confusing. There may be very technical subject matter but the abstract should always be readable to the general public.

So, if any questions about patents at all, this specific patent, how to read patents or begin your research, go online to our website There we have tons of resources for you to take a look at, and if you’re ready to take that big bold step and spend 30 minutes with our patent attorneys, we’ll do so with you at no cost, the initial consultation, we feel as a way to educate you, and it’s a way to pay it forward. So book your free 30-minute consultation today. You can also give us a call at [phone number].

I’m your host J.D. Houvener of the Bold Today’s Show. Hope you have a great day, everybody. 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