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By J.D. Houvener
Patent Attorney and Founder

Hi, my name is J.D. Houvener, and welcome to this version of the Bold Today Show, where you, the inventor and entrepreneur, get your daily dose of inspiration to make the world a better place. Today is March 1st, the first of the month, and I always start thinking about spring about this time of year. You know, we’ve been working through all the winter, and even with a couple more weeks left, I feel spring in the air and even smell a bit of spring too.

So, in the essence of spring, as I do tend to think about spring cleaning quite a bit, and when I think of cleaning, I think of getting some projects started around the house. This got me looking at this most recent patent, and so we’re going to talk about that in just a second. But before we do, I want to share something with the audience here. In the comments below, the challenge of the day today is for you to share what’s your big project, what’s on your spring to-do list, and what’s the number one item that you’re going to be tackling this spring.

Now, to get to this patent, I want to talk about an inventor out of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Sean Smith. He’s invented a pretty cool tool, and this just got issued last week. It’s a cabinet-like a tool cabinet with integrated airlines, that’s what the title of the patent is called. What you can see here is a simple-looking toolbox, but it has the airlines that you have for a grinder, driller, or any type of hand tool that uses air power. It’s all integrated within one toolkit, like one toolbox. This is a neat invention, and like I said, this issued last week, so I’m excited to share with you a detailed look inside the claims.

As you may remember from previous sessions, I talked about the claim set in patent applications, the way they’re structured, and it’s at the bottom. So when you go pull this patent up at uspto.gov, you can go search the exact patent number, find this patent application, and find the patent itself. Go to the bottom of the claim section, and let’s look at claim one.

So, starting with the first claim, I’d like the claim language, and I want to point out some specific language within this that I think you’ll find enlightening. One of the first words is “plurality.” What does that mean? You’ve heard the word plural before, right, more than one. But “plurality” actually is a special legal definition, meaning, of course, more than one item or apparatus. In this case, it’s a nice way to keep the claim language broad and to cover, of course, more than one version, more than one leg, more than one drawer, more than one airline, for example. So, that’s a key word to point out, a great word to use; it increases the value of the patent itself.

Another phrase that is maybe just overlooked but is important is the phrase “at least one.” Those three words put together have a really important meaning, and every word in the claim set is super important. “At least one” includes one; it could be the version of the invention that has just one drawer or one airline, but it includes, of course, two, three, four, and beyond. So, it’s encompassing more than plurality. Plurality, when you think about it, means it has to be at least two. It wouldn’t include just one. It’s interesting to see how you can pick and choose language; it does change the way each claim is written out.

I know we’re deep in the weeds on claims. I want to bring you back out and talk more about this invention in the next session where we’re talking more about this invention. So again, share in the comments below what your big spring cleaning project is for this month. I’m excited for spring coming up, and I hope you are too. Thanks for tuning in for this version of the Bold Today Show. I’m your host J.D. Houvener. Go big, go bold at boldIP.com.

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/