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By J.D. Houvener
Patent Attorney and Founder

So as the title, uh, says, we’re going to be inventing live, inventing live. So we’ll take the first half of the show, Matt, and we’re gonna come up with something, we’re gonna invent something on the fly on air. Um, it’s a little bit awkward. I mean, I don’t know where we’re going to end up. You’re a creative guy, and so am I. Uh, to help us, I’m going to consult a really cool article that I found on the old internet. And it just so happens that our buddies over at bold patents put together a really cool article on the 10 steps of how to invent something. How to invent something in 10 steps. So we’re going to be using that as our guide. I put the link there – how to invent, there’s 10 steps. I laid it out there for all of you back in 2020, and this article’s been picking up some decent traffic. Looking, I’m pulling it up right now, JD. I’m a big 10-step program guy. See, I knew it, and I know all of you are as well. So follow along with us as we explore.

For those of you who wouldn’t even call yourself an inventor yet – I came to this realization just as here, Matt – I felt like, you know, I realized in my 10th year of doing this, there are clients, potential clients out there that we can help that have inventions but they don’t think of themselves as inventors, right? They don’t think that they’re in the profession. You know, they’re Realtors, they’re janitors, they’re truck drivers, they’re police officers, teachers, professors, engineers, and they’re just doing their thing. But they’ve come up with these interesting ideas, and I want to let you all know – all those people – you are inventors, okay? And just whether now is the right opportunity, whether now is the right time to move forward or not, so this 10-step guide will sort of get you there. I’m looking at these 10 steps right now, yeah. I’m loving it, man. I take it you’re going to go step by step here. We’re gonna – well, let’s do this together, okay? And you’re hip step lock. What do you call lock hip, hip lock step with me, lock step, lock step up on our face if we do that.

So step one, believe in yourself. Okay, this sounds so – no, this is the Ted Lasso step, man. Believe, believe. And you’ve got the mustache. I mean, my gosh. I did that a couple of years ago. I went as Ted Lasso for Halloween, so maybe I’ll have to do it again this year. I don’t know. You really got a good one. It’s really starting to build in. Thank you. I’m a ways out. So yeah, this is true. As someone who wants to get the creative juices flowing, if you’re just in a funk, if you’re just bothered, upset, have other things going on in your life that are dragging you down, um, you’re not going to be in that creative state. It’s going to be very challenging to try to come up with this solution. And so you’ve got to find a way, even schedule time in your calendar, perhaps block out some time so you know what, for just 15 minutes, I’m going to block everything out. I’m going to be in flow, and I’m going to try to think about solving this problem. I’m going to believe in myself. I’m going to have confidence. I will carve this timeout, even if it’s 10 minutes, right on my commute. I’m going to put all my brain power towards something, and that’ll kind of give you that peace of mind. Your mind will get ready, and you’re going to believe in yourself and say, you know what, I can handle it. This is one step, um, and just kind of get out of that maybe that rut that you’re in and just know that you’re a capable person, and you can get there. So that’s step one, mindset, right? Just kind of getting prepared, filling yourself up with positivity.

Step number two, pay attention, attention. So we’re going to pay attention right now to some of the problems in everyday life. So let’s take a minute or two and ramble off, you know, maybe some problems you came up with that hit you over the head today, Matt. Um, do you have anything in mind? I’m going to kind of go through those as well.

Wow, just threw me on the spot with today. Um, what are some problems that I noticed today? I couldn’t find my nail clipper earlier. I’ll just – that’s because your children have it. There was that – it was so funny because my wife – this is a tangent – but, um, I was like, we’re going through this thing now where we’re not solving each other’s problems right away. So I’m like, I can’t find the nail clipper. She’s like, oh, that’s too bad. I’m like, ah, ah. And then I can’t find the nail clipper. She’s like, you haven’t asked me where it is. So anyway, she played that game. Finally, like, hey, babe, do you know where the nail clipper is? So that’s one problem. Um, anything else for you? We couldn’t find the morning. It was really – I’m just well, rambling here. Yeah, I’m trying to think.

Um, I can’t think of anything top of my head, JD. That’s okay. That’s okay. This is it. We have to be confident. We live in a perfect world with no problems. And this is really – this is actually really cool. We’re – we’re in this moment now of let’s have some silence. Let’s have some excruciating – let’s just do a full actual 30-second silent contemplation. I got it. That was two seconds. That was not even a second. Got it. I got a problem, and I could use some real help brainstorming some solutions. Well, we have nine more steps to go, please. L on here’s my problem. I have this laundry pile, and I wash it and I dry it, and then somehow it has to get folded. Boom. Okay, so this is – I love this. This is probably, you know, a 99% of people type problem now. Um, my wife and I, leaving for a wedding this weekend, my mother-in-law just came into town last night. She’s doing that. She’s handling the laundry. She’s amazing. She’s – not everybody has the luxury of having a mother-in-law come in and just fold your laundry. So let’s just – let’s unpack that a little bit, okay? It’s an everyday problem. Hey, I can throw stuff in the laundry. That’s not too bad. I’m really good at it, washing machine, dryer. Okay, easy. This is so good. Okay, so let’s go on to step three, right? This is an everyday type of a problem. How do you get those clothes folded or at least into drawers or somehow, you know, out of the pile? Yeah, how do we avoid the pile in the masses that just end up from beds? I’m going to need some sort of machine.

Okay, so step three, mapping it out. Let’s map it out. So this is kind of the general concept of, well, what’s the process, and we’ve been – we kind of did that real quickly. But this is part of the process that – the solution. So now that we have identified the problem, which is, you know, what I’m picturing is that mound of clothes that I constantly have to pick up and move to sit down in my recliner. What’s a solution? So mother-in-law – okay, so we’re – we’re coming with some solutions. We have – you can it up and laundry service. Laundry service – have you done anything like that before?

Yeah, so we used to have years ago, we had like a laundry service that would pick up, drop off, fold everything, right? But then the problem was, you know, no one ever put their laundry away, right? So it’s folded, but it was in a bag and then never got put away – terrible problem. And then we had a house helper, Cassie, if you recall, yeah, who – she would do all the laundry and fold and put it away. And that was a great solution. Okay, but now I have no laundry service, and we have no Cassie. And so what’s a guy to do? I guess he has to do his own laundry. And okay, well, for me, I am not picking like a shirt like this. I will wear this once a week for this show. Right, right now, I basically wear T-shirts and shorts all other times of the week. So I have a drawer for shorts and T-shirts, and they just go in. I don’t even fold. They go in, yep, underwear, socks, boom. No fold, straight in. The socks, though, right? You get the underwear the right side out, you know, and then you put the socks together so they match. My wife does that. She did that for – said I don’t need a – I don’t need them paired, just absolutely shove them in inside out. I don’t care. But that’s a level of comfort not everybody is good with. And then workout clothes are the bottom J, just mixed workout clothes. But um, but for the kids, that has been the biggest issue – kids’ clothes. They’re small, um, and they go through them. They go through them. I don’t know about you, but my kids, like, they’re like, you know, Lady Gaga, they have like wardrobe changes every day, you know.

What my wife did recently, she actually had a shelving unit put in right next to the washer dryer and a basket—empty baskets. So instead of trying to fold clothes, we just sort them first. So we pull them out of the dryer and just sorting: Hamilton’s, Emma, Stella’s, Hamilton’s, and then there’s mine. So you guys mix the laundry together, so we’re doing the laundry togethering. See, now we don’t co-mingle the laundry. It’s my wife, and then we have each girl has their own separate laundry bin, so you actually do separate laundry loads. Okay, wow, holy smokes. Well, we have Different Strokes. I mean, so there’s different levels of problems, yeah. So we got a dryer full of all five of our clothes, nutty.

Okay, so your problem is maybe a little more simplified. Matt, kth’s pile of clean laundry, yep, problem is not having enough time or an interest to fold it and get it onto the shores and onto the hangers. Yeah, that’s it, real, real tough, man. I think I need a robot. Yeah, that seems too easy, but that is a potential solution. Okay, um, one more potential would be old school, um, air dry. Okay, so it comes out of the washer, and it just goes onto a hanger into a closet that is constantly being buffeted with warm air. I like it. So let’s make, you know what? We can make my closet a washing machine. Okay, now we’re – this is it. This actually could be somewhat interesting. So, the closet becomes sort of like the sauna type environment where there’s a wooden wall, double as a SAA. It, of course, doubles. That was – I’m getting there. Okay, so the room has a nice drain at the bottom, yep, it is a sauna, and instead of washing clothes, it sterilizes and then dries, so there’s no actual soap involved. Genius, unless – see, unless they – unless you’re outside really getting dirt, but for the most part, it’s just perspiration and it’s, you know, a little wrinkle. So now you’ve got – you’ve got a complete green invention here. You’ve got water savings, electricity. What if – what if I just, you know, throw my dirty clothes in the shower, and the shower washes them and then they go in your sauna? Yeah, maybe. Maybe we need to process patent too. I think. Oh, I think there does have to be some water and soap involved. Let’s – let’s say that’s true. But I’m stuck on the sauna, so it’s the same box because I want it to be one room dedicated to this cleaning and drying process. Yep. Um, we would have to have some, you know, way of removing the clothes and converting that into an actual functioning sauna. And then, and then at certain times of the year, you could be like a salmon smoker. It’s like, you could have had some salmon hanging. I like it. I like it. I can dry my venison back there. Okay, so we’ve mapped out our solution, um, evaluate value versus effort. Okay, step four, that is a huge endeavor, I think.

Okay, no, I’m picturing this closet. It’s a sauna. It’s the washing drying sauna closet. Okay, and um, I’m gonna block out the salmon image, but well, maybe, you know what? I’d be up for a steam shower. So maybe my steam shower can also double as – oh, good. Really, really good. Really, really good. All right, so we got – we got a steam room SAA. It’s a steam room SAA. We’re bundling a bit. Um, that’s an incredible environment, you know, to fully drain and make sure there’s not going to be mold, right? And so the construction I think is interesting. Let’s say ballpark 20 grand to prototype something like that, you know, 15, 20 grand fully converted. Um, I think there’s nothing necessarily unique about the machinery. Um, you know, actually, technical problem, it’s just a matter of bringing those things all together. But there probably would be certainly some design, you know, some integration issues where you got, you know, wet and electricity coming together. Um, so that’s – that’s a decent amount of effort.

Okay, to prototype, put that together and let’s look at the value. The value you’re saving is what, you know, decreased, you know, no need for washer dryer, yeah, marital happiness pricess. You’ve now got a clean couch, you’ve got a sofa, uh, yeah, you get your sofa back. You know, I get my kitchen island back, you know, yes, yes, and there’s the decrease of the furrow, right, the fur, the antier, you know how much Botox costs, right? Gosh, okay. So there is quite a bit of – we were joking a little bit, but there is some true value there. Um, so I’m thinking there’s – there’s enough value that that certainly outweighs that initial outlay. Now, market research, this is step five. Again, we’re going to be short on time to get through all this, but I want to cruise through these. That does need to be done. We have to make sure that, you know, is this a Matt problem or is this really kind of, you know, petto is 80% of people have this problem. So we need to kind of do some, you know, some initial conversations with friends and family and then go beyond, do some online research. Yeah, we got to figure out, you know, like in other countries around the world, you know, they don’t wash their clothes as much as Americans do, right? This isn’t a problem much in Italy. Yes, I would love to find out kind of a sub research project how many saunas are out there, um, that are unused. Okay, and and a conversion kit to the sauna, uh, washing dryer sanitizer may be an option. So for it, invention as well, so market research is important. So step six, this is where we start getting serious, okay?

If that looks like a green light, okay, you’ve determined that there’s more value than there is effort, that there is a demand and a big enough market to go after. Now is time to do a patent search, okay? And yes, you should do your own before talking with an attorney. So hop online, and let’s do that now for just an instant. I’m gonna type in – I’m gonna share this. This is silly. We’re running out of time, but I love it. We may not get to our Bull bite today, Matt, and that’s okay. That’s okay. I feel like this is a real, real serious issue, a real serious problem we on the C with something. Can you see my screen? I can. I can. This is – um, yeah, I had Legacy shave ready to go. Okay, so this is, uh, sauna, um, washer dryer, okay? Just going sauna, washer dryer, sauna laundry room ideas. See on Pinterest. Okay. Oh, I’m forgetting. Nak. So there’s a shower attached to AA, which is cool. I mean, this looks look. Let’s take a quick look. Oh, man, this is Uncharted Territory. Yeah, I’m just looking at my images here. I don’t see – again, every single one of these pictures I am seeing a washer and a dryer. Okay, so that tells me that’s a good sign in general because they’re – they’re sort of still using that old ancient technology of a washer dryer work talking Cutting Edge, yep, washing the room, okay, washing, yep, it’s G to have lasers too. Well, I don’t know. Um, can, uh, can a room wash and dry? Yeah, just keep scrolling. So, um, so you want to do things like this, you know, while you’re not – I think this is novel. I think this is novel. It appears to be novel. Okay, again, you’re gonna want to spend a little more than the two minutes we gave it, all right? I’m going to stop sharing, but a room that will wash and dry and also convert, also, you know, function, and also fold. It’s – I mean, it’s a – well, no. So maybe you miss my whole intention there is as you put clothes – as you take clothes off, dirty clothes off, you put them on a hanger. I love it. And then it’s done. So you actually, instead of putting them into a hamper, right? It gets rid of that hamper process. You just – you actually fold.

Them, that’s not going to clean them in most cases. I mean, hey, I’m willing when I get undressed at night, I’m willing to take my clothes and fold them nicely, put them in something, right, and then put them away, yeah, if once they’re clean, right? So, I’m willing to do that, okay.

So, once we speak with the patent attorney about our invention, that’s when we’ll start laying out some of these details we’re getting to right now and explaining it more. Instead of an idea, actually talking about, well, how will that hanger look and how will it withstand the heat and the pressure, and, um, you know, the different environments, the water, and the soap, how is that going to get dispensed, and how are those going to, you know, basically, you know, situate in that environment? Um, the details, honestly. So, once we lay out the invention disclosure, the search can be performed. Step seven only comes in when you’re ready to file a patent application after you’ve gotten the green light from your patent attorney, saying, yeah, this is unique, novel, non-obvious, and has utility. You now have a market, you know the market size, you know your invention is patentable. Now it’s time to file. So, step seven is to file at least a provisional, in some cases, a non-provisional. But once you file a patent application, it gives you that all-important patent-pending status. Yep.

Um, so once our, you know, SAA is patent-pending, that’s when we can start to speak about it, talk about it to investors, and also kind of put a business plan together. I know when I sit and talk with inventors and, and all honestly, about when they get to this point, I would say most have not really put in a business plan, have not really thought about how they’re going to make money on this invention. They just wanted to hurry up and get it locked in and secure. Um, so let’s assume in this case we have filed, okay? We have filed in a patent application for a sauna that will wash and dry and hand, you know, and function as a closet washer dryer and as a sauna, love it.

Um, so now, you know, part of a business plan, what would you say is, you speak with your clients on the trademark site? I mean, we just think about branding and starting to think about, we’ve already done the research, we’ve confirmed there’s a market for this, um, where does your mind go when you think branding for some, right? So, I mean, um, you know, before we pitch the idea to anyone, really, we probably want to have a name for it, right? Right, including our business plan for, um, venture capital or angel investors and things like that. So, we got to have a working name for this product, yep. So, my recommendation is always to find something that’s suggestive of what the product is and does, right, but not be overly descriptive, right? So we can’t call it the sauna, you know, closet dryer, right? You know, we’re going to have to be a little bit more suggestive, right, something that kind of speaks to and somehow the automated process of cleaning clothes or the dual functionality of this washing dryer SAA system, steam room, um, yeah, yeah. So, we got SAA, do you want to just have a little, yeah. I usually ask clients to make a list of all the descriptors which are not registered by themselves, okay? So SAA, you know, steam room, clean, um, clean clothesline, hamper, oh yeah, you know, you write all those kinds of names down, anything that kind of comes to mind when you think about doing laundry, yeah, right? Um, and then what I would do is probably start figuring out a way to combine maybe multiple words and do a new word, right? So can we do, um, so can we play, clothesline, um, or can we, you know, um, something with laundry, yeah, right? Um, yeah, so we kind of plan, plan the words, combine them, you know, get out the Scrabble board, start working on names that are probably unique, meaning you coined them, right, um, and but they kind of mean something. If people hear them, they kind of know that has to do with laundry or electronics or automation or lasers or whatever, right? Yeah, another way to do it too is that, you know, with just a suggestive trademark for something like this. So, um, when you think of things that have to do with laundry, right? You could call, you could call this thing clothesline, cloth line. Terrible name for it, but it’s not actually a cloth line, but you know it has to do with washing clothes. I like it. Okay, clothesline, um, what about something like, you know, I like using the word, you kind of get, you know, the sauna aspect of it, um, hot, hot laundry, or, you know, yeah, hot load, hot, hot wash, no, um, clothes easy, easy wa, easy wash and dry. Oh boy, yeah, see like it, this is where, you know, it can get kind of challenging, and it mostly takes time to, you know, make the list and try to think of something. Or you can ask your friendly neighborhood trademark attorney to run a search for you of previously registered trademarks for washing machines, right? And that can kind of help get the creative juices flowing. Okay, that’s something if I have clients who are really stuck trying to find a name for the product or service, right? I’ll just typically pull a search report of the, you know, maybe the latest 200 trademarks that registered in their category, right? And then they can see it, and they can kind of, you know, get an idea of what’s registerable and what people are using out there in the marketplace. Okay, um, if you guys are out there watching and you have any suggestions, throw them out. I, what about laundry box, yeah? Laundry box, laundry box, yeah, I mean, sure, that could certainly, it seems registerable to me, um, yeah, or, you know, we could call it something Butler, right? You know, apparel Butler or, um, yeah, Ming. Catchier than that, but, uh, yeah, yeah, what’s slang for clothes, right? Um, duds, yeah, duds, or, you know, sdbs, you know, something like S Duds, sdbs, sub, wow, good, good, good, good. I have a headache today, that’s why I’m not very creative. SS and Duds, no, you’re great, suds and duds, perfect. Yeah, it’s going to work with that.

So, and then, um, but what’s important after you get your application filed, okay, especially a provisional, you have up to one year before the non-provisional is due. This is the time to prototype, test, and build, verify that the, you know, the suds and duds is going to do what you said it’s going to do. Can you actually, does it, you know, does it actually make sense to put it all together, right? Or is the SAA aspect really going to be too much, and the thing is really actually going to be more dedicated to cleaning the laundry, um, and the SAA part was really just too far-fetched. Um, and maybe you can cut out a lot of cost and not have to deal with, you know, removing the clothes to get enough ventilation and heat. So, now it’s a just a box that you’ll hang, it turns a closet that also doubles as a washer dryer, um, so so as you start to build it out, right, you got get with an engineer, maybe a a mechanical person if you’re not necessarily, uh, in that, you know, industry or or have that background. You bring them into it and do so with an NDA, have have a contract in place with any third parties that you really get into the weeds with and start doing what I just said, right, kind of narrowing in on what it is that’s truly going to go to market, um, because there could be some co-invention there there may be some trade secret information some processes that come up about how to actually make, you know, that environment be both one that cleanses and actually gets to a temperature that will dry the clothes. So, um, so once you get the application file the non-provisional file that’s when the examination will happen there’s a lot the back and forth of the examiners at the patent office there could be a lot of office actions to overcome but you might get all the way to the finish line and get your patent granted um and end up in Shark Tank pitching the SS and Duds uh closet. So thank you all for hanging in there with Matt and I we invented um and branded that so it truly that that may be something right there may actually be something there you know in just 30 minutes I think it’s a real problem I I don’t know most folks who who wouldn’t take some sort of machine that automatically did your laundry and folded it and hung out for you but uh I mean I I know in I know that there are machines that kind of do this but um yeah not not like us they don’t do functionality they don’t double the steam room you know SAA yeah that part I think is a little distant um but I mean I could say you know just seriously I I would dedicate my half is honestly my quarter of the closet to to being a Suds and Duds where my wife and I can have a traditional closet I’m GNA buy a SS and Duds bolt it in and that will do it all and um yeah I mean I like it man what what if you had like a hanger system like the suds and Duds and you oh yeah no hang it up right you put your socks on the mannequin dummy the pants underwear whatever right and you close the door yes you do it right and next time you open it they’re clean or they’re they just stay in the closet right you open up put the next door you set of close on here we go Yugoslav what about a net for socks and perfect see you don’t need need to go with heavy metals and just you know keep it light you know ergonomic um and and you won’t lose your socks yeah well end of our program here Yugoslav thank you for joining in I really appreciate your comment um we invented something on air if you guys missed it you want to go back check our Channel at bold patents on YouTube we are uh we here every Wednesday not always doing this live invention uh we’re usually doing interviews and doing a br bite uh we’ll save that one for next time um but for Matt myself and bold patents wish you guys a wonderful week ahead we’ll 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