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By J.D. Houvener
Patent Attorney and Founder

Hey everyone i’m jd hoovener and welcome to the bold today show this is a weekly broadcast with me uh the owner here at bold patton’s law firm uh i’m here to talk about patent law okay so bring you on your questions uh come inventors business owners entrepreneurs this is a live forum right now and so i please uh encourage you to think about uh raising questions that are not confidential okay process related maybe even thinking about inventing and you wonder what’s next how do i get started this is the place okay so please keep things hypothetical and as an attorney it’s certainly my job to make sure you know uh this is not a place to put confidential invention subject matter i will be providing later a link for you to schedule a confidential screening session with us if you’d like to move forward today we’ve got a topic as you saw how to patent software okay it’s a big topic and i’ve got a really special guest today he’s actually a client of ours and so i’m humbled to have him on he’s going to be sharing his solution for the trucking industry so hang tight for that coming up after i get done with that we’ll be visiting and answering those questions so if you’re from avo hang in there if you’re if you’re in a hurry and you’re watching this afterward you can forward along the video to the end and get to that but i encourage you to hang with us and learn about software here this is going to be fun next up i’ll be offering a free book link okay if you want to get a copy of this book behind me where is that there bold ideas the inventor’s guide to patents um it’s about 100-page tutorial it’s going to walk you through everything related the difference between patents and trade secrets copyrights and trademarks so there’ll be a link to that coming up here as well so all that said for those who may have missed it i’m jd hoofner i’m the managing partner and owner here at bold patton’s law firm and we’ve got a special guest today his name is andy hedrick and we’ll bring him on andy welcome to the show thanks for having me jd you’re welcome yeah it’s my pleasure you know bringing clients on with the the thought that we can finally you know have a discussion about your invention that we’ve got you patent pending um certainly uh you’re you’re no stranger to business and so uh tell us a little bit about trucking tower what are you up to there sure so uh my journey started back in 1992 actually working for an early stage software company in the trucking industry doing manual entry of driver logs into lotus 123 spreadsheets and so i’ve been fortunate to roll out a number of different technologies in trucking across 25 years and last couple of years i had an idea for some business intelligence that executives were asking me for so results from engines uh without having to manually pull together all these reports and then also how do they compare with others other fleets so then i had this idea uh to bring some software to the market right right and so um i guess what is the you know there’s all sorts of data i’m sure what in your from your history what are the what are the biggest pieces of data was the most important information for owners operators of truck

yeah so uh the us spends 1.2 trillion dollars a year on fuel in big rig trucking alone just the classic big rig trucks only not the spring bands and everything else um so that fuel economy uh and knowing how to get better fuel economy is extremely important to these companies it’s either the second or the third highest cost for a trucking company and so we’ve uh we’ve been able to pull data from engines and show before and after results and then comparatively anonymously compare across fleets so that’s what we’re up to is basically up to a 30 reduction in fuel is possible with these technologies that are available but companies want to know what should i deploy uh what are having the biggest impacts how do i compare you know those sorts of things are wanting to answer those questions right right yeah i being a uh ex aeronautical engineer one of the things i always notice on trucks are those interesting you know aerodynamic features right trying to cut on drag um but this is you know sort of going beyond the external you know drag is it true that a lot of the stuff that you help with is the is in the engine or are you looking at all aspects really it’s all aspects so um you know what we’re really doing is comparing engine loads apples to apples before and after deploying whether it be trailer fairings wind flaps combustion technologies oil bypass systems driver performance softwares there’s a number of different technologies aimed at reducing fuel what we’re doing is basically saying okay with that technology here’s the kind of results you can expect before and after and and then the top fleets you know the top 10 out there here’s the kind of fuel economy they’re getting and there’s the the technologies they’ve deployed in order to make that happen right walk me through you know sort of the evolution take us back even 10 years you know what what were you know what are the most recent problems you know um that sort of have been overcome recently you know with looking at this what’s becoming available now um you know in this space sure so there is a number of different fuel nano technologies available these days with that have emerged within the last 15 years or so there are like i said oil bypass systems keep your oil cleaner longer and help with your fuel economy there are the wind flaps i’m sure many of your viewers have seen on the sides of trucks on the trailers actually there’s wind covers over the wheels for better aerodynamics there’s trailer fairings at the back um to help with drag there are a number of different and then driver performance software i mentioned as well um the driver it’s actually been shown controls up to 30 percent of the fuel economy on the truck as well so that’s a big big impact and so there’s a number of different technologies and um you know they’ve got various different results and various different costs as well so um you know what we’re doing is basically bringing intelligence you know business intelligence uh to the market uh for apples to apples comparisons and not just conjecture and you know uh myths and so forth um we we wanted to bring the data to the market uh to show what the actual scientific impacts are and you and i both have an industrial engineering degree so right this is a very familiar space for us looking at results scientifically before and after uh whether it be process or technology um those sorts of things basically looking at the impacts the scientific impacts of it and then um of course every executive i think i’ve ever met wants to be the best right they want to be the top tier top five top number one and how do they get there and not just i heard this does such and such i’ve heard about this other thing what do you think um it’s really needs to be uh based on data based on the data that there is available and so you know about oh 12 years or so ago the dot department of transportation required every driver to have an electronic logging device connected to the engine and the reason for that is uh to track number of on duty hours number of driving hours and those there’s limits on those and but the good news is on those engines there are over 100 fields of data available and so we figured out a way to get out that data and pull it and so that’s kind of what we’re doing right yeah well excellent thank you for sharing that i i wanted to share um with our viewers a little bit about your your website so they know how to get a hold of you if they want to follow up for more information um and i’ve got pulled up here your well you’ve uh called it the fleet compete platform and so i’ll share that with with you and you can kind of walk us through what what this is well thank you for doing that um and also thank you by the way before i forget you sent me this really cool package in the mail i’m patent pending and i really appreciate that that was really neat to get that in the mail and that was you know a big milestone for our company uh specifically what we’re doing is helping companies learn how to reduce fuel consumption up to 30 percent um learn what engines are the most fuel efficient learn what technologies are having the greatest impact see detailed fuel economy before and after technology deployments view detailed engine diagnostics and fuel economy reports and then anonymously compare their results against other fleets well that’s what we’re doing with this point that’s really cool and and that that’s that compete part right you’re able to kind of get a little insight um yeah i really like that that is fun i’m sure you get a lot of interest in that yeah these executives are very competitive you know and they want to be number one and uh you know we’re helping them understand how to get there basically very cool well good and uh all right well thanks for that and if anyone wants to get a hold of you i want to be able to provide an email address and so what i’ll do for our viewers here um is put that email down there and so it is andy at it’s all andy.hedrick andy.hedrick yep okay i’ll put that in there to contact candy

perfect well andy thank you so much for sharing with us real brief of what you’re up to what we’ll do is we’ll put you backstage and i know sometimes it takes a while for viewers to kind of watch and see if they have any questions so what i’ll do is i’ll i’ll do that and invite you back to join us once we get to our avo question so thanks for being on andy yeah thank you all right excellent so let’s do our oval question i did see we had one in our patent infringement category this question comes out of sacramento california on may 22nd and so i’ll put that question here it’s a long one so it might be a double paragraph and i’ll put this up so folks can watch it alright so this question is about a recent patent that warner brothers just landed and i was covering up my face in their ground spine how far-reaching is warner brothers patent of their nemesis system for video games i’m an indie game developer and have been conceptualizing a system that adjusts locations and non-player characters procedurally in response to actions the player takes in a game as well as specifically flagged non-player characters based on various algorithms to produce an experience that’s never quite the same okay so it’s kind of simulating a bit of randomness um from an npc and location appearance to traits um to ai tactics even state of politics oh goodness all right well that sounds quite specific um okay and what i did i did take a look at this question before and so i i did pull up the warner brothers pet

so let me just share that with you

okay so this patent is was issued just this year so 10 million 926 100 179 that’s a lot of patents right we’re actually over 11 million now as of just two weeks ago we hit 11 million all right so this is a sign you can see who who applied for it okay is the company warner brothers a lot of inventors involved here which is pretty cool uh from my home state of washington which is great to see and uh but the owner is warner brothers okay they’ve all assigned their inventor rights to the company it’s likely because they’re obliged obligated to being employees okay i’d like to point that out in terms of who owns the patent a lot can be learned from this first page and i won’t get into all the different categories but right from the abstract you can give you a little bit of a sense this is about protecting a method it’s a method pattern a method for managing and here’s this term non-player characters uh and power centers i’m sure what a power center is but there it is in a computer game based on a character hierarchy and individualized uh correspondences so some communication between each character’s traits or rank and events that involve other non-player characters or objects so that’s a mouthful it’s a lot i think i’m tracking about 75 of that okay i think we can get the feel for what this is about this is a fairly nuanced method uh that is now patented so to find out what they own you don’t look at the disclosure you don’t get overwhelmed and think that they own all of the flow charts and the images that you might see they don’t own the specification which is all this writing here okay what they actually own is way at the bottom okay in a set of numbered claims and so i typically will go here

first and you got to scroll down this is a lengthy patent application or patent rather so there it is okay we’re on page 36 38. the invention claimed is okay they kind of make it hard to see but this is independent claim number one so i’ll make it a little bit bigger for those that are perhaps on their phones and method comprising okay so there’s a controlling aspect detecting changing and outputting you see these terms these are all verbs right actions and they’re they’re they’re steps okay they’re verbs these four okay generic clauses are are what must be shown in a in an infringing method now in other words you have to do all four of these steps to be infringing this pad so just before i start reading and kind of get into the details that’s number one is that is the scope of their rights if you only do elements if you only do controlling detecting and changing and you’re not doing this outputting you are not infringing okay so really clean i know this question talked about hey am i infringing is there any way to design around it and now it’s time to dive in obviously you know someone i’m going to jump in a little bit on this first clause but just know that the answer i’m giving you today is not going to be binding certainly not going to be a written opinion and you should before you were to go to market invest any money into developing a competitor product you want to get an opinion from patent firm certainly our firm would be happy to help you answer the question is my software is my game infringing this method okay and that is going to be you know a little bit of a quite a bit of work to make sure that each one of these clauses is or is not affected so this first one controlling by a processor game events in a computer implemented game okay i think we’re so far the same as that question asker the game events involving an avatar that term is new uh but i think that just means right representation of the player that is operated in response to input from a player okay right that’s your character let’s say and a first okay a first non-player character okay that’s controlled by the computer and to uh um that is to respond and to automatically oppose avatars okay oppose this interesting word but let’s say so it’s going to respond to inputs from a player right this is not this computer right is going to respond to an input from the player uh based on first character parameters then it’s got to detect i mean this this first clause this isn’t necessarily groundbreaking at all right this is i i press up on the button and a computer sees that button and does something else right responds to that input now they’re detecting by the computer the occurrence of a predefined one of the game events involving interaction between an avatar and a first non-player character okay so that’s a predefined set of rules okay so it’s not not just any input okay the player says it’s within some realm right so there’s a detection phase hey you didn’t just you know have to be a uh a buttons a b and c it can’t just be a directional it’s got to be a b and c buttons okay all right it’s detected that it’s one of the a b and c buttons got it and this one is a changing by the computer a second character parameters defined by the computer based on detecting when the second non-player character is controlled by the processor okay so now we’ve got a second right computer character and they’re going to respond automatically based on how the first character interacted so sort of this chain event all right so uh right think pac-man really simply right you’re controlling pac-man you go up or you press a let’s say and it goes up the non-the non-player character bad guy sees that and they will move toward you okay because they move toward you the other computer controlled character automatically makes some maneuver okay changes and then at the last part right outputting to a device an indication of that second character that moved automatically um that are changing so it sort of shows or somehow indicates provides display or information it doesn’t say who or where they kept it pretty generic as this indication but somehow has to be known it’s communicated that it’s changing its form or value all right i know i went quite a bit deep on that i enjoyed that example and i really appreciate that question what i’ll do is i’ll stop our screen share and see if we have any questions i do have two live viewers on um appreciate you guys hopping on if this is your first time viewing i do encourage you to give us a thumbs up and like the channel it’ll help us bring more inventors to our community here i want to get as many uh in these in these needs as possible we’ve had as many as 10 or 15 but two is great so it’s really nice that you guys are here so thank you for your time and attention at this time i would like to offer um a screening session not only to you too that are with us live but to anyone that’s watching this afterward and so i’ll provide that link here right now okay so know that this is not just a screening session this is actually going to be um a pdf copy of this book right behind me okay so if you take action you’re gonna thank you for that like by the way if you take action you’re gonna get a um get a copy of the book and get get some information right and with some of the best clients we have had over the years are those that invested themselves in this process and educate along the way right it’s going to make our job a lot easier to be able to focus on giving you the best patent possible excellent well what i want to do is bring andy back on andy how you doing how was it backstage very good uh that was a very interesting question posed there right software did you have any thoughts on that any are you a gamer by chance any any input at all you know i do a little bit um you know and so uh the nephew 15 year old that i play some games with and uh it’s really popular this um you know the avatars and coming in and competing on a team against others i know that’s a really popular area so it was uh pretty intriguing to to see that right yeah and uh yeah the priority date back on that i didn’t touch on that goes back to 2016. you know so any anyone that uh you know any adventure that that tried to come in after that date um they you know the warner brothers patent will will win so they’ve got a pretty good patent there looked like covering pretty broad disclosure on multiple non-characters well switching gears i i do want to uh uh thank you again for coming on andy and sharing your your fleet compete with us and what you’re doing with in in the trucking industry with providing owners and executives really valuable information to you know be more fuel efficient and just be better business owners i want to give you an opportunity if you would uh please share with those on the on their show today uh what your experience has been so far working with bold patents you know i was really impressed it was a really good process i was my first patent ever so uh i felt like you guys walked me through the process really well um you know and on the front end of course you do a patent search like you mentioned and investigating whether you have a patentable idea which was really important to me is it patentable so that was important and then just the automation you use and the follow-ups that you guys do you’re very proactive and pushing you know the process forward so i was really overall impressed wonderful well i’ll make sure to pass that along to read and it uh it’s wonderful that you know you had a good experience with us so thanks again i’m happy you ever come on uh we’ll have to bring you back perhaps you know once you uh once you get the patent granted and uh kind of walk us through that process i think there’s a lot of people interested to know about that too so you you’ve got some work ahead of you on the patent stage but for now congratulations on being patent pending and uh wish you a wonderful rest your day andy thank you jd thanks for everything you’ve done appreciate it you’re welcome all right everybody that’s the end of our show i do welcome you guys back here we’re here every wednesday at 9 00 a.m pacific and noon on the east coast uh i’m jd hoover i’m your host a patent attorney and owner here at bold patton’s law firm hope to see you next week 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