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By J.D. Houvener
Patent Attorney and Founder


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

Alright, you made it. We’re in part two of our series, all thinking about the American flag and patriotism here this whole week, reflecting on the holiday we just had yesterday, Memorial Day. So today, as part of your bold challenge, I want to hear from you. I really do. I want to hear about how your business, your technology, is impacting veterans, people in the military, those that we really should owe our duty to and honor to attribute them and to thank them for their service. Put it in the comments below. I want to hear about it. I’d be happy to respond to any questions.

Alright, today we’re going to look at the American flag. You know, yesterday we took a look at that unique invention that Michael Garzon put together with those 3D star shapes. Today, we’re still staying with the American flag theme, but take a look at this. This is an antenna holder for a flag. You may have seen some people on the road, very patriotic, or have the sign, you’ll perhaps wear it like a funeral or some type of a ceremony that they’re recognizing, and you’ve seen people hanging flags, maybe sports flags, baseball, football. This is what it is for. It is a unique way, it’s a utility patent, not a design patent, for a way to attach a flag, removably to an antenna. This is one of those traditional types of antennas that comes off of the hood, you know, not one of those newer ones that kind of comes off of the roof of the car.

As you can see from the invention, it’s got lots of different features to it. It has this ability to have a cylindrical damping on top and bottom and has some tethers to keep the flag running in a unidirectional flow, limiting the amount of movement that the flag will have and actually probably helping it to be shown properly to folks that pass on either side of their car.

What’s unique, I want to point about this is that on the first page of the application, you can see that this patent, even though it was filed in 2002, you know, almost 16 years ago, it still has life. You know, patent was gone for a long time. This patent is still enforceable today and beyond that 20 years. Oftentimes, you’ll see that there was a patent term adjustment. So look in the upper left corner as we’ll show here. This was given an additional 49 days. What does that mean? Well, and why would they give you extra time? The Patent Office realizes that sometimes the delay during prosecution, you know, during the point where you’re actually working with the examiner, processing rejections, objections, office actions, that the delay is because they’re too busy or the examiner went on vacation or whatever reason they didn’t get back to you when they said they would. In this case, through the prosecution, almost fifty days went by where the Patent Office should have got back with this person, and so the inventor gets those days back. So from the date they were filed, it’s 20 years plus 49 extra days. So, if you’re evaluating patents, this is a major feature to take a look at to see whether you’re potentially infringing beyond that 20-year date if there was a patent term extension.

A mention about this invention is that there’s, you know, of course, the American flag featured, but it’s got lots of potential. You know, that’s the beauty of a utility patent, and that it’s not limited to one version. A utility patent is about the functionality, remember, it’s about what it does, not what it looks like. In the one version, the one figure you see here, that flag could be, as I mentioned before, a sports flag, any other country, could be just a color, you know, representing a sort of a parade of cars, and you can imagine the different things, the different types of flags that could be on here. You could probably even think of some examples of this antenna holder holding up things other than flags. This might be covered under the claims; we’d have to take a closer look.

So again, just make sure you get a clear understanding of the difference between a design patent, so what we looked at yesterday, and a utility patent, which is what we’re looking at today. It’s my pleasure to talk with you here today. Hope you all have a wonderful week ahead, and again, if you have any questions on this, please give us a call.

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/