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By J.D. Houvener
Patent Attorney and Founder

Hi, I’m J.D. Houvener, and welcome to The Bold Today’s Show. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, business owner, or inventor, this is where you get your daily inspiration on how to make the world a better place. Welcome to part three of the challenge. Two days ago, we had you figure out and define who your customer is. Just yesterday, we had you hilariously draw a picture of who your customer is, and hopefully, they’re in color. If they’re not, go back and do that. Today, we’re going to really dive in, and I’ve got a list of homework items, questions that you’re going to have to answer as we move forward.

So your homework for today is to answer the following about your customer: How old are they? Are they married? Do they have kids? How about their living situation, a house, or a condo? What kind of car do they drive? What do they do for work? Are they spiritual? Where do they travel? What kind of books do they read? Do they listen to music, and if so, what type? What TV shows and movies do they watch? What are their three greatest fears? What are their three greatest hopes or dreams? For the people they want to impress the most, what do they want most from your industry? How will they earn? What will it take for them to get your trust? What service level do they demand, and what will exceed their expectations?

Yesterday, we talked about how it just takes two things: the spec and claims and drawings if needed, to get that elusive patent filing date. Today, I’m going to look at what it takes to file the full patent application, and there are 12 distinct documents that must be filed. Starting at the top, the declaration, also called the oath. This is the inventor saying, “I invented this,” and they’re signing off agreeing to it. Power of attorney, assignment, drawings, specification, claims, the information disclosure statement which identifies all the prior art that the inventor or the attorney knows before filing the application. Application transmittal form, a fee determination form, filing by mail or postcard, certificate of mailing or fax, an application datasheet.

An interesting fact about one of those documents, the information disclosure statement filed by the attorney and filled out by both the attorney and the inventor, is that 137 CFR 1.51 is technically not required, but that will only be true if the inventor and the attorney didn’t know of any prior art, meaning any other references that were similar to their invention. Now, with most applications that are filed today, a patent search has been done, and so all of those must be filed. Meaning you need to tell the Patent Office about all those inventions that have been created before yours. Right? Whose shoulders are you standing on as the inventor? Failure to do so is the grounds for inequitable conduct and could invalidate your entire patent.

Now, take that long list of questions that you had to ask and answer about your own customer. Take those same questions and ask your business partner, ask your mentor to figure those out. Maybe even ask a friend or someone you might know academically or professionally, and send this podcast. Help yourself get some help and get their opinion on what they think about your customer.

Again, thanks for listening and being a part of The Bold Today’s Show. I’m your host, J.D. Houvener. Be bold today.

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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