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By J.D. Houvener
Patent Attorney and Founder

Hi, 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. So glad you’re here! Yesterday, we talked about one of the most profound ways to influence yourself and others around you: smiling. Today, we’re going to talk about something that might seem a little counterintuitive to that, but it’s the word “No.” Yes, the two-letter words “no” and “oh” are so powerful and yet so rewarding.

It’s one of those words that is hard to say sometimes when people ask you to do just a little tiny favor, a little something extra. “Hey, do you have five minutes? Can we do a quick call in the half-hour?” No should be your answer because, in an interesting way, by saying no, you’re saying yes to what’s most important to you – those big projects, the next hurdle you’re working on, that invention or big idea you’ve got in your garage or workshop.

This is the kind of powerful example you need to set expectations for yourself. Politely say no, not right now. Nope, it’s not possible. I’ve got another obligation. Try that out, and that’s your challenge – to say no five times today. Count them off, don’t make them feel bad, but get to the point. Don’t let them take advantage of your time you’ve spent on your major project.

Okay, we’re still talking with our good buddy Shawn Smith out of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and his invention on a tool cabinet with airlines. These are compressed air lines. This invention and the filing documents leading up to it are important, but here on this image, we’re going to look at the first page, and we can spend a lot of time on the first page of the patent because there’s a lot of information there.

I want to draw your attention to this section called “references cited.” Look carefully for those that have an asterisk next to them. Those that have an asterisk were cited by the examiner. There are plenty of those, I think three or four in this patent, that do not have an asterisk. Those were ones that Shawn Smith and his attorney brought forward under that rule we mentioned in a previous session – in 37 CFR 1.56. Everyone involved in the patent process must disclose what they find.

As you may know, the examiner at the USPTO and the Patent Office do their own examination and search. They may have found additional prior art, meaning different inventions or publications that are close to what the invention is all about that the inventor and attorney may not have found and didn’t disclose. It’s a collection of all this prior art that gets cited in the patent document, right on the first page. If you’re looking and trying to find out relative or close to similar inventions, you’re going to want to start looking in there. It’s a great way to start doing research if you’re looking at inventing in this particular area.

Anyway, I hope you get to try this new effort regarding the word no and moving that forward into your own project, making your priorities that much of a priority and shifting that around. I look forward to talking with you more in detail about this patent tomorrow. I look forward to seeing you here on the Bold Today Show. I’m your host J.D. Houvener – 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