Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on LinkedIn
By J.D. Houvener
Patent Attorney and Founder

Hi, I’m J.D. Houvener, your host of the Bold Today’s Show, where you, the inventor, entrepreneur, business owner, get your daily dose of inspiration to make the world a better place. Welcome back!

Yesterday, we talked about the rain boot design and got some really interesting features about how we’re actually able to stay dry in this rainy spring weather. So, I want to take a minute and just think about design patents as a whole, as compared to utility patents. If you had to take a guess how many design patents there’ve been issued all time, you get the answer tomorrow. The person with the closest guess gets called out on the video next week.

Okay, the first topic we’re talking about today is about umbrellas. Oftentimes, the number one thing you grab when the weather gets dark and stormy and starts raining. Well, this invention up here, that I’m showing up here, it’s not your typical invention. This is not your typical umbrella, I should say. This is something that’s actually going to help when it’s sunny out. This is a design for when people are sitting underneath an umbrella; they’re actually able to stay out of the sun and in the shade. These umbrella arms, these fan blades, they’re able to collect sun rays and charge your phone, charge any kind of mobile device through USB or AC adapter. It’s a pretty, very cool invention and it’s also attributed to many utility patents. But this is the design because I wanted to focus on design patents with you this week.

So, take a look at this, and you can tell that there are some certain aspects of this that are in dotted line. So, see if you can spot where they are. There are two major spots on the edge of the fan blade on the very tip. You can see there’s a dotted box. They wanted to leave this edge of the fan blade hidden, right? They didn’t want to actually claim anything as to the edge of the very tip of the fan blade. The other section is right around the middle, just between the sprocket part of the umbrella and the fan blades. They left that part also in dotted line. So, they left that ambiguous to reserve it for other shapes, other types of materials, and different functionality.

If you look at the patent, the first page of the patent with me, you can see the assignee is a company named Zeo. Check them out at So, if you’ve got a way to keep us dry and maybe even charge batteries along the way, let us know. We’d love to hear about your invention. Thanks for checking us out at the Bold Today Show. Hope you had a wonderful time. 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