Hey everybody, welcome to the Bold Today Show. I am patent attorney J.D. Houvener, also the owner here at Bold Patents Law Firm. I’m here every Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. Pacific and noon on the East Coast. So, come one, come all. We’re welcoming entrepreneurs, inventors, people interested in learning more about inventions and patent law. I do want to provide a brief agenda for today. I’m excited to bring on one of our guests, also a client of ours here at the firm. She’s brave enough to come on the show with us today. We were just talking before we went live, so I am very excited to bring her on. A little quick sneak peek: she is in the beauty industry and has a great background.
So, the first thing we’re going to do is talk with our guest. For anyone that has brought in or has asked an avo.com question, I will be answering those here in this session at the end, in about 10 to 15 minutes. So, hang tight. I encourage you to stay with us if you’re going to be joining or watching the program after we recorded it.
Again, our agenda is to do an interview with our guest. We’ll do the obvious questions and field a live Q&A throughout the session. Before we jump to our guest session, I want to also offer a free screening session. So, now is, are you thinking about today, and it’s the right time to get started? You’re not sure if you want to speak with an attorney yet. You’ve started the invention process, but you want to see if working with a law firm is the right fit for you at that point. I encourage you to schedule a free screening with one of our advisors, and that’s the link to do that right there. It is free, it’s a no-fee 15-20 minute talk. We learn about what you’re up to, where you’re at in the invention process, and if now is the right time for you to meet with one of our patent attorneys. For taking action, I’ll give you a copy of this book that I wrote, ‘Bold Ideas: The Inventor’s Guide to Patents.’ Here’s the hard copy, but you’re going to get a digital PDF version. It’s 150 pages or so, it’s got all the nuts and bolts about what you need to get started, from what’s different between a patent and a trademark, provisional versus non-provisional, international patent protection, trade secrets. I talked about a lot of those things. So, if it’s your first time getting started in this process, the patent is new to you, I believe heartily that education is a very important aspect, and we want to have clients that are informed as we go through this process. So, it is much encouraged, and I appreciate all of you taking action.
And we will, again, like I said before, be featuring live questions and jumping in and taking those first. I’ll be offering that free screening session with the free book today. So, check out that link as we move forward in this program.
Okay, without further ado, I’ll bring on our guest. She’s been waiting patiently backstage. Danielle, thanks for joining. Yes, of course, so glad to be here. Awesome. Well, yeah, I appreciate you and your courage to come on. And you are ahead of the game for most inventors that I have on the show that are just for the first time coming on, talking about their invention. You’ve actually got a company up and running, and you’ve got a website and a company started. So, tell me about All Natural Glow and where it’s currently at. Yeah, so All Natural Glow, I actually launched on September 1st, 2020. That’s when I first started selling a few products on Amazon, and I was selling hair accessories, satin bonnets, and then eventually hair scrunchies as well. And this was actually a really good starting point because it was low cost upfront, it was pretty low risk, it was on Amazon where you have a built-in customer base. And then this business has completely funded my invention. So, that way, it wasn’t having to come out of pocket and take from my savings. I was able to fund all of everything related to the patenting process and in prototyping and all those things related to the business through my existing business. So, that was just actually really perfect. It just happened that way. Okay, you didn’t have to scrounge up savings or bug friends and family or hire and find an investor. You had enough hustle and entrepreneur know-how to get enough revenue going to afford that investment in your innovation. Very cool. Very cool. And you have an interesting background. We were talking before how you are currently a civil engineer and also running this company as well. Tell me about basically how you do that first of all and then how potentially the engineering background supports and is helpful for growing your own enterprise. Yeah, so I’m a civil engineer, as you mentioned. I have my bachelor’s and master’s in civil and environmental engineering. And I currently work for the Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts, and that is a full-time job. I have to take time off to do the live, and it’s interesting. I know you’re an engineer too. I think with engineering, you often find these type-A personalities. In your training, you’re very often trying to solve a problem and figuring out how to improve different things and come up with solutions. And that 100% is woven in all the way through my business from my first product to my products I’m developing right now. It’s I’m my target customer, and so I’m using products that are out in the market, and I’m saying I don’t like this, I don’t like that. This could really be improved. People have those thoughts all the time. Like, man, they should have really done this instead. And I made those into products. So my motto is actually ‘Hair Care Engineered Better,’ and that’s 100% our mission. That’s what we try to do. It’s been really helpful for sure, my engineering background, but you don’t need one, of course, but it’s been helpful. Well, good. Yeah, I think, certainly, having that technical experience, having the background helps you with maybe analytics and helps you be more regimented and ask those questions. But I think you hit the nail on the head with you’re a problem solver. That’s what engineers do. And you see problems in this specific industry, and you’ve started to solve the problem for yourself. You said, ‘I want different products. I might as well just open up and help other people too.’ We have a question coming in from Susan. We’ll take a quick… Let’s see if it’s related to what you’re up to, Danielle. Okay, it looks like it is a different question. So, Susan, what I’ll do is when we get done talking with Danielle, I’ll put your question up first. So, hang in there just a few minutes. Okay, she has a cool question about a foreign country or her micro-entity filing. Okay, okay. Let’s talk about your product. Okay, so you have developed something special for hair conditioning, right? Yes, so I have a deep conditioning heat cap, and it’s battery-powered. It’s rechargeable. And how you use it, for people, if they’re doing their hair at home, they’re washing their hair, and they want to make their deep conditioning treatment more impactful, really penetrate their hair strands and maximize all of those nutrients actually going to nourish your hair, they’ll often apply indirect heat. The current applications they have, some microwavable heat caps where you just put it in a microwave, and it has some sort of filling that will contain heat and then it’ll heat up. Then the heat, of course, naturally dissipates over time, and depending on the filling, it can end up being kind of centered in one part of your head. And then there are some others that you have to plug in. So, you have to stay kind of tied down to an electrical outlet. And then, in my case, it’s completely portable. It’s efficient with heating. It has over an hour of heating time. And I say it’s ultra-ultimate convenience without compromising quality. I love it. That was quick. Quick. Now, for someone who is not in this industry, why might you… I guess, what is the state of the art? What is the current solution for this? If this wasn’t out there, what would you use in sort of the standard run-of-the-mill beauty parlor? What would you see? How would you get your hair dry or conditioned if you went to a beauty parlor? They would put a shower cap on you and they put you under a big hair dryer. It’s like a big dome over your head, actually. That’s right. Okay. And you’re stuck. You’re sitting there for how long, 30 minutes to an hour, depending on how many clients they have, if you’re in the salon. Okay. And you’re saying that, yeah, some people… Okay, they have realized, like you, like, okay, I got other things to do. I wouldn’t mind walking around. But you’re saying those other solutions… You mentioned microwavable, but they’re not really. It’s not like an ongoing heat. And then, it’s just nothing like what you’ve got. There’s no other way to keep it dry. Cool. Very cool. Well, congrats on that. And could you show me again that power button and maybe some of the functionality? Yeah, so it’s one power button for all controls. You can hold it. I just realized the battery isn’t actually in it right now because… Okay, I give my customers a little pack to keep everything. So, you hold the power button down. Yes, of course. It turns it on. And then, you press it. You can press it for three different adjustable heats. And then, you hold the power button again to turn it off. Guys, see that? That is easy. So, no need for a whole keyboard, programming knowledge. It’s straightforward. Nope. The battery just goes right here in this little pocket, and then they can plug it in or disconnect it, and then they are all good to go. And, of course, branding. Very nice. And you did this all by yourself. Yeah, yeah. I actually even coded my first website by myself. So, this is very bootstrap. All right. All right. And speaking of that website, let me show your site briefly here. Okay. So, we are on AllNaturalGlow.com. This is the right one, right? Okay. And so, can I take us through kind of where you’d like to see customers if they’re the first time coming to your page? What would you want them to see? Yeah, first, they come, of course, they see the Glow Heat Cap featured. As soon as they scroll down, our model, ‘Haircare Engineered Better,’ and the Glow Heat Cap. We have a video demonstrating how to use it, and then you can go straight to the listing. And it shows all of its features and what makes it different from what’s currently out there. There you go. Excellent. And you do have an Instagram page as well. Let me put this website down in the comments so people have that here. Oops, there we go. Yeah, whoa, all right. And Instagram, there you are. Okay. Modeling it, perfect. Yes. And that, once again, bootstrap, no problem, just putting your face in front of the company. I appreciate that. Good. Very good. All right. So, there’s that. There’s the handle right there if anyone wants to follow, Inventor of the First Rechargeable Heat Cap. Yes, love that. Okay. Perfect. Well, lots of stuff we could talk about. If we do have time at the end, I will want to check in with you on a few other things if we have time. But for now, I want to thank you for being brave enough to come on, and we have a few questions to get to. So, we’ll put you backstage. So, thank you, Danielle.
Okay, Susan, thank you for hanging in. You’ve got a couple of good questions, I love it. So, you say, ‘I have a micro-entity and a utility patent with patent pending.’ But they said I was not protected in China, North Korea, and Mexico. USPTO said I would have to go to these countries to follow publications, that is correct, right?
Okay, so if you filed with the US, which I assume is where you’re pending at, you do have to file into other countries to get protection. So, having a filing in the U.S. only provides you protection in the U.S., so they are correct, and there is a 12-month deadline. This is kind of one of the issues that can come up if, for example, you’re filing on your own, or if it’s, you know, maybe you’re working with someone, you may not be quite experienced. You’ve got to make sure you hit that 12-month deadline. So, today’s August 11th, so if August 11th, 2020, was when you filed your non-provisional for your first priority application, you must file a foreign filing by August 11th, 2021. Okay, so that’s today.
Now, there is another option, instead of filing directly in those other countries, you can file what’s called the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) patent. And that’s basically the acronym for a treaty where almost every country you’ve ever heard of, including China – I don’t know about North Korea, but Mexico – have signed on to these treaties, and they say, ‘Yep, we will acknowledge the one search done by the U.S. examiner, and we’re going to let an additional 18 months go by before you have to select which countries you want to file into.’ So, I know that’s a lot. Susan, what I’ll do is I’ll provide my contact info if you want to follow up with a specific question, maybe you’re still within that one year, and you’d like some help getting started. I’ll include my email address and a text-only phone number if that is helpful for you.
You also got under the wire with a second question, so I’ll pop that one up here as well. Okay, I have an LLC for my business, and it drops tomorrow on social media. I’ll use Amazon. In my case, my product is the sex belt. Alright, I went under ‘lift two inches’ so I would not be in the sex toys section. Okay, my belt was the method over the need for men and women to have more pleasurable sex. It lifts your FUPA. Okay, well, there it is. Thank you for sharing that, congrats on your invention. You know, if you would provide a link, you know, I’m not afraid to let you put that here in the comments. I want to encourage your participation here, and we do not discriminate; inventions come in all different sorts. The sex industry is a huge industry, so we can’t ignore it, and we have definitely served inventors in that field. Congrats on that.
Alright, so let’s see, I’ve got a couple of avo.com questions. Thank you for those who have been waiting. They’re all in the area of trademark. Okay, so no patent questions came up this week. This one is out of Los Angeles, California. Let’s see if we could jump to that. I’ll put that in the comments here.
Alright, here we go. Okay, so the question is, ‘Who do I consult about having a mobile application made available outside of the United States? I want to make sure that we’re in compliance and handling each element of the business appropriately in this regard.’
Well, with a mobile app made outside the US, there’s a major red flag, and that is you’re contracting and doing business with someone who is going to be more challenging if there’s a breach of contract, let’s just say, that would be more challenging to try to bring them to justice. You’ll end up having to fight in a foreign jurisdiction. You’re under the laws of a different country, and it’s just more risky, and there’s less control. In terms of the US government, it’s not going to have a whole lot of authority over that other country or the individuals that reside in that country. So, at least from a liability standpoint, it worries me for sure.
When our inventors hire and work, excuse me, contract out any work, including a mobile application development outside the US. But I get that it can be more affordable, so certainly, it’s an option, and it’s a good one for those who are bootstrapping and need to just make it more affordable. So, I would say that the best thing to do is to have a good contract and just be very careful with what is disclosed. You have to just be careful with the scope of work being done, limit it, and test out that contractor. Make sure they do what they’re saying, and they’re going to do, and slowly build up the trust like any other business relationship and eventually allow them more and more information and authority, and hopefully, they’ll reciprocate with continued performance. And that’s kind of general; that’s the best I can do with that question.
I should also mention with that, you know, with a mobile application, you should, before starting, before hiring and talking with the third party, you should explore that whether it is patentable, okay, but what you’ve developed in a software, computer-implemented version. If that method or process is novel, and you think it’s actually the first of its kind, and it’s performing some benefit or has some functionality that you like, I said, I haven’t seen before, do your own diligence and confirm that it’s new. And then, if you still think so, hire a patent attorney, patent law firm to help conduct and confirm that as well. And if so, then you should file a patent application to protect what it does before you go speak with a third party, certainly someone overseas, because that party may just run with that idea, and if you haven’t protected it, filed it first, you could lose an opportunity to lock down that specific area, niche.
Let’s take one more question, and we’ll jump back to our guest here.
Alright, so this question is a trademark application question. It comes out of Phoenix, Arizona. A long one here. I’ll cover it, lost my face, uh, okay. Trademarking a property name. I developed some land into a campsite rental property, now marketing it under a brand name currently DBA under my real estate LLC. I wanted to start pushing more marketing out to get the attraction of campers or renters and eventually potentially selling other things under the name like merchandise. Let’s say marshmallows. Okay, or like, I don’t know, wood. But I’m curious how to trademark a property name and what goods and services it would fall under. I tried looking at different options the USPTO but let’s see what the next part of the question is.
And what goods and services followers are showing up, but could not find what seemed to be correct. Any help is appreciated.
Okay, yeah, so this is a pretty specific question. So, backing up a little bit, when you file for trademark protection with the USPTO, you do have to designate what class. Okay, and there are international classifications. An important thing to know with respect to registering a mark is that you have to have a distinct, has to be a unique name in your class, and you can’t have the same or similar or confusingly similar name as another company or another brand that already has a registration in that same class. So, let’s say it’s musical instruments, or let’s say it’s property management services. If the name is, you know, Barking Coyote Campsite, okay, Barking Coyote, and you know, if there’s a howling coyote already registered, that might be confusingly similar, you know, coming with kind of a random example. And, you know, and so this person is asking about their classifications. So, maybe there’s a howling coyote bar, right, you know, about alcoholic beverages or restaurant classification, very different from property management or even more specifically, campsite property management. And I don’t know if there’s a specific classification that goes all the way down to that level of specifying campsite investing. It’s probably just more like property or property services, property management services.
So, if there’s no howling coyote or whatever the name is you’re looking for in that class, then that’s what you should go for. I would make sure that it’s the only one in that area, but you’re looking for more of an answer on what exactly we recommend for your name and for what kind of business you’re in. And before I get a recommendation here on live, I would probably want to have a discussion about what your company is and what you’re going for. It looks like you’re trying to do both goods and services. So, it could very well be that you have to file two separate classes along with what you’re trying to sell, and that’s typical, right? If you’ve got goods and services mixed type of offering, you have to pay the patent or trademark office rather to conduct two separate searches in two different classes. Maybe it’s, you know, property management and it’s also our outdoor equipment, outdoor goods supplier to make sure there’s no confusingly similar name in both of those classes if you want to use the same name, which is what I would imagine you’d want to do in that case. So again, I scroll up. I did provide my email and contact information to go further on that question. I know when we got the two trademark questions today, but I want to bring Danielle back on to ask a few more questions. So if you have any, if you’re still on live and see about three people live, ask away, we have a couple more minutes, and we’ll try to get to your questions, and otherwise, we’ll chat more with Danielle. Hey there, how was it backstage?
It was good. I actually put the battery in the cap. Hey, all right, well turn it on, let’s see what you got. What does it do? Oh, you have different colors. Okay, yes, for low, medium, and high, that’s high. Very good, hanging right now. I like it. Okay, thank you for showing us that.
So, I want to ask this question, you know, that’s why I came back. So, you’ve got the product obviously in hand, and is it true you’re starting to sell? Yes, so we just launched on July 19th, actually, on our website, and it’s also available on our Instagram shop. I just kind of started pubbing, you know, I’m still growing my website, still growing my social media presence and everything, and I’ve already been making sales, so it’s been really positive. Yeah, very good. And so, talk to me about what you’re planning to do on the marketing and, you know, the fulfillment side and what you’re hoping that’s going to look like.
So, right now, I use Amazon multi-channel fulfillment to fulfill my website products as well. That way, I can have my inventory streamlined because I do still currently sell on Amazon, not my heat cap but my other products.
Yeah, and so I’ve been kind of promoting some of my videos on Instagram, and so that’s what’s really led to some of my sales, as well as Google Ads. And this is pretty much with no knowledge or experience. I mean, this is kind of just like, well, let’s see how this goes, and they’re already converting. So, maybe it makes me feel very promising once I actually get, you know, some knowledge and experience in marketing and Facebook ads and all of that or hire someone to do it that it’ll be really good to grow.
Well, cool. My wife, Mai, is watching. She says, ‘Danielle, you’re such an inspiration. Our daughter is watching in all-girl box.’ Oh, yay, you love the woman. Yes, woman supporting woman for sure. Okay, well, we could talk for a while, you know. So, promoting yourself, you’re doing it on your own, uh, marketing, I guess just to wrap things up, um, you’ve got the non-provisional ready. What is next for your company? What would you love to see things go in the next year? Where do you see yourself and your company going?
Well, I’d love to grow a little empire with All Natural Glow. I have no intention of quitting my job anytime soon. I think I’m going to pursue the dual career for a while. It’s been too long in school to just let it go now. But, um, right now, it’s been really easy, well, not easy, it’s been manageable to do both. And, um, that’s my plan, just keep growing it until the wheels fall off.
All right, very good. Well, we’ll have to have you back on when and if the wheels do fall off and you decide to go on your own. If that happens, it doesn’t have to, but thank you for sharing your journey with us. So, we’ll have you on again later. Again, thanks for coming on, and we’ll talk to you soon. Thanks. Thanks for having me.
All right, everybody. Well, thanks for tuning in. I’m going to wrap this show up. So, again, we’re at boldip.com, and we’re Bold Patents. We’re here every Wednesday with you doing a live Q&A, bringing on guests if we have them, and talking about patent law. So, hopefully, you hope to see you soon. Next week, Wednesday, 9 am Pacific, at noon on the East Coast. I’m your host J.D. Houvener at Bold Patent. Go big, go bold.