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By J.D. Houvener
Patent Attorney and Founder

Hi there, I’m J.D. Houvener, your host of the Bowl. In today’s show, where the inventor, entrepreneur, and business owner get your daily dose of inspiration to make the world a better place. Well, did you get a chance to say no to anyone yesterday? I hope you did, and I hope that means you’re saying yes to the most important priorities in your work-life balance.

Today we’re going to talk about what it means to say no in a different way – to be able to say no before you get asked the question. How do you do that? Well, you can schedule time with yourself. Alright, calendar time to work on your number one priorities. This way, when someone comes and asks, “Hey, do you have 30 minutes to help with this project?” or “Hey, I need to make a call really quick, can I use your office?” It’s already “no” because if they use your calendar, you’ve got a booking – you’ve got a half hour appointment to work on that project. It’s a way to in advance say you’re not available and to block that time out.

So I encourage you to do what’s called “time blocking” for your projects so you can help others see that you’ve got your busy, you already got that time allocated, and you said yes to doing that number one important project – work on your invention or your project that your team is working on.

Alright, we’re in the last session with our good buddy Sean Smith out of Tulsa, Oklahoma and his invention – the tool toolbox with integrated compressed air lines. This invention we’ve seen and you’re probably familiar with if you’ve been tuning into the Bowl today show – is quite interesting as we can tell from this first page. We’re going to take a look at the very first page of the patent – there’s tons to look at and we’re using it as a really good example to get a good understanding of what goes into an application, what are the key components, and what is the law that backs it up.

So under 37 CFR 1.55, the statute requires that the inventor, along with their attorney, make sure they reference the prior applications – the provisional patent application – their priority claim. This is a huge deal because in order to get the early filing date, in order to capture that, you need to put that down and list it on the front page of the patent application. And if there, as you can see under the US related US applications, it’s got the reference to the 61 slash and you can see the full number of the application right there. This was filed in September 18, 2013. You can see in the upper right, this patent was issued in February 20th, 2018. Alright, so it took almost, you know, seven – four and a half, almost five years – right to get this thing issued and the inventor gets priority all the way back to 2013.

So that means any inventor that said they’ve got a new invention in the same space and they tried patenting their own toolbox with integrated airlines in late 2014, 2013, or 2014 or any any time in between them, they would lose and our buddy Sean Smith would win in a priority battle. And so what was important about that priority date – the way they were able to capture that – is when they filed a non-provisional, you can see on the front page again, it’s 14 slash – that’s the non provisional application number – and you can see that was filed September 18, 2014, just one year after the provisional to the date. They were kind of kind of closed – the rule is one year. You must file a non-provisional application one year, no longer, after the provisional. That’s how you get priority back to that early provisional filing date.

Anyway, I want to make sure you guys have got a good understanding of this and the law. But as we took a look, you can make a good plan, set that plan in motion by by saying no in advance and making it known that you’re blocked out, you’ve got that time available.

So I hope this is a nice lesson and if you see this, see the value in this video, please pass it along to a friend of yours who could also use a tip on how to say no in advance. Have a great day, everyone. Go big, go bold!

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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