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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 Show where you, the inventor and entrepreneur, get your daily dose of inspiration to make the world a better place. In this next five-part series, we’re talking all about aerospace, one of our top three specialties here at Bold Patents. Aerospace, of course, includes airplanes flying around the air. It also encompasses outer space, rockets, satellites, and other things that orbit the Earth or go beyond.

Today, we’re going to talk about a challenge, as we do on most Bold Today shows. Your challenge today is to think about the trade shows in your industry and the different technologies that your inventions revolve around. Attend one trade show, sign up today, and tell us in the comments which trade show you’re going to. Get excited about it, make yourself prepared. Know who’s going to be at the conference, get ready to network because this is one of the best ways to meet influential players in your market.

For me, I had the opportunity a few weeks ago to go to the PNAA, the Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance conference at the Lynwood Convention Center, and it was amazing. People from around the world came there – suppliers, vendors, designers, manufacturers in the aerospace arena. It was a wonderful place to network with other referral partners and meet new clients. I really encourage you to do that. We had a great experience.

Now, I want to get to the legal section of today’s Bold Today chat. Before we get there, I want to talk about the invention that we are all aware of, which is the airplane. What goes into an airplane is, of course, the design, the utility aspect of the propulsion, and the overall aerodynamics of the wings with the different control surfaces. But what you don’t think about as much is what the pilot sees. When you go into an airplane, you just sit in the seat, and you think of what you actually visualize as a passenger. In the pilot’s flight deck, there’s tons of innovation going on.

So, we’ve picked, for today’s patent of the day, a patent that’s owned by Textron. They’ve invented a lighted control side stick for the pilot. You can check it out right here. They’ve got a way to indicate, oh, actually, it’s over here, sorry about that. The lighting control stick is a way for the pilots that are not able to see a signal, that are getting constant audio feedback from the tower and from their co-pilots. They can get an additional signal through visual recognition. The stick itself lights up, so it’s a pretty neat invention. You can look at the patent number here as well and pull it up and read through the whole thing.

Today’s legal topic is going to be focusing on the background section of an application. An application has got lots of different parts, and so we’ve got a snapshot here of the background of this patent for the sidestick controller that lights up. Different parts of the control light up to let the pilot know, for example, that the aileron is performing at 90% of its guaranteed tolerance or that maybe there’s a wind gust that’s exceeding some limit for the flapperon.

The background section of the application, and we’re gonna get into a lot of this as we talk about the spec, the background is supposed to articulate the basics. It should identify all the prior art, talk about the high-level differences, the problems in the market, and make just a very generic statement about why this invention exceeds and is able to solve the problem that the prior art has, without saying too much more. There are some pitfalls that many patent attorneys and inventors have when they write really lengthy backgrounds. When they do that, they pigeonhole themselves by identifying and admitting that certain technology exists in the prior art. By saying too much about what your invention is and about what exists already, you might actually be saying that part of what you could invent and get patent rights for is admitting is prior art. It reduces your claim scope and the value of your invention.

Back to that challenge we talked about – we’re thinking about aerospace this week. I want you to think about your industry. After you get that trade show booked, the best way to network is to go with someone. Going in alliance, you can share and try to break up the crowd, get more people more information. You want to get more, the better. See as much as you can see, and there’s no better way than teaming up with someone else. I encourage you to share this video with someone you might want to go with to that event. Hope you all have a wonderful day today. Thanks for tuning in to the Bold Today Show and make today 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