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By J.D. Houvener
Patent Attorney and Founder

Hi everyone, I’m J.D. Houvener, and welcome to the Bold Today Show, where you, the inventor, entrepreneur, and business owner, get your daily dose of inspiration to make the world a better place. So, we’re in part four of our flying animal theme, and I found a really cool animal – the flying fish. I pulled up the stats, and flying fish actually come out of the water for up to six hundred fifty-five feet. That’s more than two football fields, and these fish stay above the water. This is an environment they’re not used to; they still breathe, they still have gills underwater, and they’re able to stay above water for what could be multiple minutes and travel far distances.

Your challenge of the day is to think about the parts of your day that you dread – that time you’ve got to go underwater or that activity you’ve just been putting off for too long. Maybe procrastinating – knock it out first. That’s your challenge for today, and put your comments below about what that project is going to be and tell us all about it.

So, I had to dig pretty hard, but I did find a flying fish patent. Have a look at it here; it was issued in 1993, and it’s for a floatable device that has a propeller. It’s actually an entertainment device. This invention was to solve the problem that a lot of enthusiasts had with airplane hobby, model airplane flight – the issues of going over water. Not such a good outcome if those planes hit the water. Well, this is actually a model airplane that is floatable. So, when you fly it over water, it’s able to land on the water and even float and move like a boat would. It’s a pretty neat invention, and it certainly solves a need out there.

The legal issue today I wanted to touch on is fairly high level, but it’s important. 35 USC Section 101 requires that for a utility application, it must have utility. This is the third requirement among the novelty, non-obviousness, and utility. Utility is that third prong. It’s usually not an issue for mechanical arts, but in this case, it’s a little bit not so obvious that you will be able to get a utility patent on a toy. Well, absolutely, even toys provide a value of entertainment. So, the entertainment purpose provides that function and gets it past that threshold.

I hope you enjoyed today’s version of the Bold Today Show. Please feel free to forward this to anyone that wouldn’t mind getting a little tidbit about patent law and having a fun challenge of the day. Have a good 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 https://boldip.com/contact/