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By J.D. Houvener
Patent Attorney and Founder

Hey everyone welcome to the Bold inventor show I’m JD Houvener your host and my co-host Matt culseth over here Matt good afternoon well hello how’s it going um I’m going good today thank you um you know yeah it’s a Wednesday it’s Wednesday we I missed you yesterday for the for the Bold lawyer show yeah sorry it was uh I was out winding and dining my uh my wife it’s our 14 year anniversary so we were oh man that’s great in the time don’t be sorry about that that’s awesome I was happy for you yeah it was great good awesome um so let’s see here uh we’ve got a good show today I’ve got a guest um a family friend uh who is into uh internet of things so you may have heard from the uh the title for today um so Seth baffer is waiting backstage I’ll bring him on just in a few minutes here um he’ll be able to share a lot of cool interesting stuff about devices compliance and some of the things that I think a lot of inventors and entrepreneurs forget about um and it’s kind of like you know if you forget about to get a patent and you just go start selling a product you might just end up right um in trouble right infringing someone else’s uh patent or or other things so that is on the way um we have three pre-loaded questions throughout the week we’re published uh broadcasting I should say to Facebook Instagram Facebook LinkedIn and YouTube someday Instagram I’ve got to get like 200 more followers Matt then I can I can I can do lives on Instagram right now they won’t let me in yeah does Twitter do I’m sorry X does X do like a live stream or anything like that oh X the new Twitter is it is it called X now I think it’s called X I think it’s called X oh man I saw the funniest thing it’s a terrible brand all right we’d love to talk about that um quick little legal disclaimer we’re not your attorneys uh we are lawyers but uh we’re you know this is not a privileged confidential discussion if you want to move forward and have a discussion with us I’ll provide a link here to do that and then I’m going to share my I’m gonna try to break out in a really funny post that I saw um so that’s your link if you want to just see if now is the right time um do a free Discovery calling with Dallas it’ll be great um and that link will give you a copy of this book behind me all the ideas the inventor’s guide to patins um it was the World Wildlife Federation have you have you seen this so I know the WWF only because my daughter cooked a a frog one time and felt really bad about it and so as in the men’s we made a donation to the uh WWF oh my gosh did she do do like the slow boil thing or was it just completed no I think you just found it found the toad and I had a fire going and she decided to hop the the toad in the fire yeah four years old at the time yeah

we made a one-time donation to the WWF okay what about him well I’m gonna I

it basically showed um the progression of Twitter’s logo over the years right it started kind of the different bird and they changed it to kind of a fatter bird with a small beak then it was kind of more of a you know clean line bird a lot of it was the same the last one was the X right and it was kind of along the lines of don’t let this happen to uh to you know endangered animals

or something so yeah wild change there uh but yeah it’s it’s evil some might say ill-advised some might say would you say I would say can you count for more than some um you know what I mean Elon Musk has made a lot better business decisions in his life than I have so I mean who am I to say that’s a deficit we’ll see very very well okay we have we have I hope we have some live viewers we have some uh they’re on LinkedIn um but when we do have a live viewer we will prioritize your question um you of course can send them out throughout the week but if you’re here live with us we’re going to prioritize it so bring on those live questions anything at all related to patents trademarks copyrights intellectual property and of course the subject but that our guest is coming on for iot devices and compliance regulation uh so let’s bring Seth on Seth bafford welcome to the show thank you hey guys hey Seth yay so good to have you heard donation to the WWF and I was thinking like the people’s elbow in the World Wrestling Federation right it might be the same organization I don’t know I didn’t like taking locations

I don’t know love it love it um let’s get to it so we have we have an inventor Community um entrepreneurs listening business owners um you know when I hear a compliance regulation you know I start to kind of just get sleepy but no tell me tell me what are people missing give us a little background on your you know technical upcoming and how you found yourself in this role as a consultant yeah yeah no um so you know uh regulatory is uh probably in compliance it’s probably one of the least exciting portions of uh let’s say engineering uh and sometimes some of the most invisible you know it can be likened to Insurance uh for anybody like a consumer or business for that matter you know until you need it you probably don’t think about it as much as you should so it can be the most invisible and then also the most visible uh part of your reality uh at time so a regulatory uh for that matter you know particularly as it would pertain to like inventors or manufacturers that are trying to just design the coolest product to get it on the market and sell it and change the world make money whatever you want to do you know if there’s a legal thing that needs to be addressed from a regulatory standpoint it can be a gating factor from you actually getting your product launched and you know iot devices uh as I would describe them from from the industry that I’ve worked in for many years you know it’s really talking about um gating engineering factors to getting your product launched such as the wireless technology so you know you’re seeing uh Wireless radios getting in every kind of product you know you can imagine toothbrushes obviously their cell phones is the most easy example but uh sports equipment video gaming accessories uh hunting and backpacking tools you know Wireless uh solar panel Chargers you know up in the middle of nowhere you know a lot of track and Trace stuff like that yeah Matt is trying to contain his was it an emu or ostrich out there oh peacock peacock yeah yeah I’m gonna slap an apple uh Apple tag on them or something I don’t know

yeah I’m gonna yeah put a wireless uh internet of things on them yeah there you go I mean Logistics is huge I mean a product you want to track uh Foods going in containers going all over the world you know inventory whatever it is there’s all these different Wireless technologies that are being utilized and it’s a highly regulated space so you if you were to design a product you say I want my product to have Bluetooth in it there is some work you should do just uh as early ahead of time as possible to kind of assess what you you know what you will need to legally sell the product what who do you call I mean do you call someone like you I mean yeah Ghostbusters um so this is even on my radar that’s just wild people are inventing stuff we’ve patented stuff like this before and I didn’t even think to advise or give recommendations for oh yeah you might need to make sure it’s legal to actually go sell this and and my question to you when we were chatting a couple weeks ago was does someone like Amazon do they even care can you just list stuff or Ebay I don’t know can you sell things online without having gone through some of these hurdles or certifications yeah it’s a little bit of the Wild West I would say um kind of the first thing any designer uh or manufacturer whomever uh should do is think about the country you’re going to sell the product in and then the intended environment so is it uh let’s say the USA is an easy example we’re here is it for residential use commercial use medical Aerospace defense Automotive because you’re going to have legal requirements based on the country and the intended application or environment of the product so if you want to sell a Wi-Fi product into the house the federal government is going to control the radio spectrum so that’s the FCC most of us probably think of the FCC if you ever listen to Howard Stern because he argues with them for like the last 30 years trying to shut his Free Speech down right right but the the FCC really controls Wireless technology like uh a freeway Northbound and southbound and there are different Lanes of the freeway that are allowed to transmit things and other lanes that are not so one of the first things I would say if you’re going to design a wireless product is you’re going to be buying that technology from somebody and that’s your first place of guidance whoever that supplier is for a radio chip going into your product they’ll have documentation and guidance to provide for you but they’re not going to do the work for you most of the time they’re going to say here’s some information but you need to really consult with a agency or third-party testing and certification laboratory and there’s a passive market for that you any Tinker or designer could just Google FCC testing or FCC certification and you’ll get a million hits on Google okay okay there’s a big Market of people and really the biggest recommendation I would say uh you know people in relationships make the world go around so do your best to get to an actual person a subject matter expert that can help walk you through uh what you need to do would you say that like most um you know prototyping design or manufacturers know these FCC testers pretty well it’s it’s it’s kind of across uh the board because what you’ll see is a software company deciding they want to move into hardware and it’s a brand new world or you’ll see a hardware company that maybe they made you know some industrial mechanical thing for so long but they don’t know anything about electrical engineering design and wireless as an iot application so it’s a little across the board really prevalent brands that you would we would all know about that you’d see up and down Best Buy they’re pretty well locked into what those needs are but you know I’ve worked with a lot of uh Independence designing a product you know people tinkering in garages to somebody who got some seed money from an angel investor and um you know they’re from my observation their focus is really on designing a cool product that that can maybe even that can sell and make some money but if you don’t check some of the regulatory boxes uh from the beginning or at least have an awareness of it um it can be problematic so one really good piece of advice is if there’s a similar product on the market go look at what it has you know literally either physically flip it over you know it’s not too difficult I mean everybody’s got like a bricktop power supply that’s not an iot device but there’s all sorts of regulatory labeling stuff on there you know some earbuds you know whatever it might be um that’s not a bad place to check um you know so assessing similar product um and then you know as far as like pitfalls go you know if you’re designing a product if you can think about what are unique engineering Technologies I’m putting into my product that could be of concern and this is everyday people can think like this so uh Lithium-ion batteries has been in the news forever right Rising fires it’s a big safety concerning and carry them on the airplane right yeah in fact I was in uh Denver going through the Denver Airport years ago when uh I think it was like Samsung uh it was having a battery issue and that they announced it across the airport if you have a Samsung device you cannot bring it on the plane I mean it was rough rough PR right I mean National broadcast and all the major airports and millions of people um so things like living on batteries if you have any kind of light source that’s non-indicator like a flash or a laser people are concerned about those with your eyes optical radiation we talked about the wireless radios it’s one of the most highly regulated uh regulatory things really in the world um so you know these are things to consider also you mentioned like Amazon or Best Buy or whomever so there’s with an iot Hardware device there’s regulatory stuff to be considered but also your distribution Channel or End customer you know you may want to get into a big retail environment um and they may have specifications that they want you to meet too in order to play in their realm so um there’s a lot to be assessed in this environment there’s a lot of Consultants out there for iot Hardware devices and design and there’s a lot of third-party Testing Laboratories out there such as CSA as a very famous One in Canada Intertech is a very famous one two tub Ryan Lynn Underwriters Laboratories uh there’s a whole Market of third-party agencies and test outfits out there that should be able to support so um Seth just to jump in here so like sir I I am bringing iot device to market right and I have not gone through any regulatory agency or consulted anyone what what’s the downside to you know not filing to get a some sort of certification other FCC police um there’s not necessarily uh FCC police but there is Market surveillance so uh what I’m not saying that this would happen again I’m uh just here as an advisor but there are uh we love to trade hypotheticals here that’s right yeah I was gonna do a headphone example but no this is excellent magical so maybe this will be the point if I spot a competitor and I want to get them because I feel like they’re not complying can I go can I go rad on them yes this is something that happens um a highly competitive environments manufacturers will take product off the shelf they’ll see if they’re doing what we’re doing since we’re doing a similar type of thing so that is uh one area of concern if I were a designer of my own product but also just Market surveillance with governments wanting to protect their Spectrum their Wireless iot Spectrum you know things that transmit in 2.45 gigahertz Wi-Fi Bluetooth these are what they call unlicensed bands not to get too nerdy but there’s everybody transmitting in them they all have to play nicely according to the rules um so there is uh the potential for a uh really you know to kind of be ratted out by a competitor but also for the one of the federal governments around the world they want to protect that Spectrum so they could pull a product and then they’ll notify you um and try and work through it and you know you don’t want to ignore the federal government when they come close Okay well that is to say also just as one little last bullet point this is something that’s very doable so it shouldn’t be something that should be of high concern manufacturers designers Tinkers get through it every day uh well let’s talk about that I mean give me big round numbers let’s talk investment how much money and how long is it going to take I’ve got a new set of headphones I just designed I’ve got them all built out all engineering specs I’m ready who do I talk to how long is it going to take and how much money yeah uh 10 million dollars no um it really depends on what your product is where you’re selling it and what government right it’s a very difficult question to answer you’re selling headphones in the United States I don’t want to pinpoint it and make a little U.S only I want to sell it online only Us online only us only it’s a pair of headphones uh for the uh and let’s say they’re Bluetooth oh you’re probably looking anywhere in their range of uh five to ten thousand dollars just to address FCC type considerations okay there’s mostly layers to that onion sure there’s other things you got to worry about too you know uh California has its own set of uh regulations

say that again I let the prop 65 stuff you know everything causes cancer besides water well there’s that there’s prop 65 there’s uh the Europeans have their own versions of that so again it’s really one of those things you gotta start at a building block level it’s like where are we selling this where do we want to make money and then we’re going to tailor all the regulations you got to address to it and some are simpler you know than others there’s some that are actually even kind of voluntary see now so you have to you need a partner to navigate that okay if someone wanted to reach out to you um are you open to me sharing your email address yeah perfectly also you know I’m on LinkedIn as well whatever you want to do I’m in all right um dude you’re full of information I want there to be enough time because I like that stuff 2.4 gigahertz I don’t even know yeah oh yeah oh this is awesome you’re not so hard I love that analogy where there’s the highway of stuff and you’re probably gonna buy someone else’s chip so maybe it’s our can you buy something that’s already been pre-certified right meaning instead of me having to start fresh like can I bring in a buy a chip or to buy everything that’s already been tested on other devices yeah as a matter of fact if it’s a new thing a new channel yeah right about 70 I would say uh just of any wireless device is going to be leveraging a pre-certified radio modules what they call it and there’s still some due diligence you have to do but it takes the burden of all that regulatory off the the end product guy the guy that’s making the you know smart sports ball you know that wants to put bluetooth in it there are things that you can do to uh really take that burden of cost down so one thing that what’s the timeline how how soon or how how much before I go to market with the product and iot product do I need to be talking to you or you know filing some compliance work you know earlier the better if you have a design like a like like what they call them Duty or uh uh uh you know a beta version of the product you know the sooner you can communicate with a third-party test lab or consultant the better um just because uh you know what what you don’t want to have is a hard launch and have some hiccups and gotchas prevent that occurring so say you want to launch in July but you have maybe you have a development samples ready several months before that you know as early as possible that you can reach out to um a third party test lab the better an FCC lab if you will okay South we’re gonna have to be back on I’ve got a ton more questions go to our next segment the Bold bite um so there’s the sets emails right there uh s d bafford if you have questions for him we still have 10 minutes left so if you have any questions and you’re watching live send them in right now we’ll get to them before we wrap up um Seth and Matt will have you guys mute your microphones I’m gonna hear what’s mine over and we’re gonna go to our our bold bite here okay check check present

I tried to find an iot you know this thing is not so not so techy and I know for Matt at least we’re we’re nearing that five o’clock hour so five o’clock somewhere with respect to this pitch Matt can you confirm the audio is working good okay here we go next up is a product designed to keep your cool [Music] thank you hey sharks I’m chase our company is Chill systems and this is the chiller it’s a portable beverage cooler with freezing gel built in and

hey sharks this is Brian sorry I’m late I had to buy ice the chiller doesn’t need ice man I had to stop at the inconvenience store now I gotta break this up I put [Music]

good thing we at chill systems are offering a more sustainable solution choosing a chiller reduces waste of clean water and single-use Plastics and we proudly donate a portion of every purchase to support clean water projects around the world and you can too partner with us we’re seeking 150 000 for 10 equity we can change chilling forever sharks you each have samples complete with chill drinks chill so this doubles you can either do cans yep or you take the cans out like I just did and then it’s for a bottle that’s right it’s incredibly versatile it only holds three cans I mean I don’t know about you but I’ll get through this in about 45 minutes sure and you know Kevin we’ve heard that feedback date that’s over the last two years we started with a Kickstarter campaign we did 51 000 on Kickstarter um what’s the cost okay uh the chiller you have in front of you uh it’s our product cost is offered never ever start I I understand let me let me get there let me get there that was about 18 a unit to build now then we had to import the units 350 a unit so if we hire up to 22 bucks we added those sleeves at 11 another 11 okay now you’re up to thirty two dollars to all the way up to 37 for that one that you’re having fun make it to make it a cost yeah good listen the reason it’s not just because we want to make a difference it’s also because we want to learn and we’re in Google we’re at Google and apple we had great jobs and we’re thinking to ourselves every night when we come home we’re not learning enough we’re here at the at the office and we’re doing the tasks that are being sent our way but but we’re not learning enough so it wasn’t just about making differences the nicest guy in the world but your story has so many lapses of credibility for me who’s your competitor it’s ice like seriously we know there’s a lot of competition in the cooler Marketplace

then the story pivots to sustainability and your product is made of plastic and plastic forever

and then to buy the bag of ice well that’s not really the story it’s about learning something I wasn’t learning enough at Apple and Google look putting all that aside it was a bad presentation all right you guys ouch Robert gave it to you burn that’s cute I know we focused on Robert so uh initial take um Matt let’s go to you and then we’ll trademark perspective yeah I mean it’s a bad brand right chill systems when they when they tell me chill systems is the Brand’s like okay one you guys are obviously you know nerds because you include the word system in your in your product but uh two I mean it’s descriptive chill systems I mean like I know what you’re doing you’re in the refrigerated something you know category um so they actually they did receive trademark registrations for CS chill systems for their non-electric portable coolers but was it a word Mark it’s a word Mark and the design Mark but they have to disclaim the words chill systems because it describes the quality or feature of the products so I mean at the end of the day they own CS okay ah all right all right if you guys want to start a product company and manufacture these for half the cost and call it chill systems we can because they don’t own that yeah they just missed a mark all over the place I mean you heard the cost per unit 37 a day 37 to produce that I don’t know yeah they didn’t bother to file a patent they they could have I mean obviously Cooler’s been around for a long time so the utility could be challenging but the fact they have these different holes that would be a good fit for a design patent in my mind right so the way that it looks the Aesthetics it can have a functional effect but the what you actually own with the design pattern is the three-dimensional shape I thought that was unique they didn’t have anything on file and nothing came up on my Google search uh or the patent system so um it’s a missed opportunity uh but you know they were really kind of off base on a lot of different points there I know it wasn’t uh Wireless technology or anything like you know electronic but Seth any comments on your end I just never I think I’ve never drinking less than three beers in my life so I I don’t know but that was really accomplishing you know their their reply was well you can just once you drink one you can put a new one in right yeah um I don’t know how how good that that does yeah

it was a dumb product um with a dumber name okay guys all right out well and uh I will um let’s move on we have three I I assume these guys are not in business anymore I couldn’t find a door we’re guests next week what you got right yeah yeah let’s look him up uh let’s take a quick so chill systems other shark tank yeah there’s been a few coolers on Shark Tank and a bunch of Yeti no I don’t see any products no no sorry we’re back to working it for Google and apple poor thing let’s hope there is this this is like I don’t know I have to show this one this is interesting I don’t know why I’m showing this but it’s a it’s a single bottle it’s called the chill pill has a cool name um it’s for a single a single kid like you really want that to be cold be at the first drink to be ready to go when you’re done with it 24 of them that’s that’s weird okay um let’s go to our three questions we had uh two Trails start with you Matt um New York or Toms River New Jersey oh I’m always down for New Jersey man let’s go okay this one’s short and sweet this is going to be about okay ring finders oh what a ring fight let’s just I’ll just read it out of course start can I be sued yes you can can I be sued for a similar name in business trademark the ring finders versus the finders New Jersey versus ring finders South Jersey I wish to register the two ladder I don’t know what the ring finders is but what do you think I don’t know what the ring finders is but yes that would be let’s assume the ring finders and the finders New Jersey blah blah blah are in the same category the same product of the same service or whatever they’re doing uh if they own ring finders then yes you will be in violation of their trademark rights because um finders is basically the same word and you’re basically just adding a descriptor which is in this place location uh yeah I think in that second one he’s actually he forgot he or she forgot the word ringers add a geographic descriptor no it is not all right it is definitely not uh rough handle anyways right oh ring finders so this is ring finders are an online business directory featuring metal detecting specialists okay cool you lost it we find it there’s just no hope for someone trying to go with ring finders South New Jersey no no you definitely get a consent or some sort of license okay okay that was an easy one no I’ll give you the other one just because that was too easy uh New York New York this is a longer one this is someone’s getting a little nerdy here with root terms and all kinds of stuff um all right can I trademark a root term uh to be sufficient for Tremor protection of relevant longer terms including said root hypothetical a company called apple has a registered trademark for the term Apple it covers All Electronics they create a keyboard called Apple keyboard right then automatically protect it under the trademark Apple since Apple keyword includes the term apple or does the company need a separate trademark specifically for Apple keyboard Apple covers everything right the word keyboard again is descriptive so you can’t get a trademark registration for the word keyboard if you were to file to technically you could file to apply for Apple keyboard or apple could you can’t I can’t but um you could register Apple keyboard but they would disclaim the word keyboard in the registration so that’s why companies typically will you know um have their products have their own distinct names right maybe it’s not keyboard maybe it’s something else you know I touch or you know IP or whatever Apple wants to call it but you can’t register protect things like keyboard so in this particular case Apple’s the brand it’s the king queen brand whatever you want to call it and everything kind of falls under that brand got it got it yeah cool um all right let’s do this mine is even easier I just I just looked at it how do I file a patent I want to register myself design product and release it in the market um I would and this is great that you’re asking this question to protect yourself before you go launch the US does have a grace period of one year so once you publish or start selling you can go seek patent protection after up to one year but it’s always advisable to speak with a patent attorney before going to Market um so we can help do some research first and look and see what a potential prior Arts meaning previous Publications or patents that have been out there in the public so you know exactly what you might have what your options are and potential is for locking in a patent on that product you can also get uh you get some information about other competitors that might sue you right or send you a cease and desist letter if in fact you’re you’re stepping on their toes so even if you don’t end up coming away with a patent it’s a good thing to check on first yeah and full disclosure I mean for the folks listening um I’m a trademark attorney right when it came time for me to file a patent you think I filed a patent means I’ve been around it for 15 years I did not I have JD do it so um yeah even if you’ve been around the stuff for as long as I have you know I’m not a patent attorney so I hired a patent attorney to do it right back at you Matt and when we protected our trademark do you think I filed it no no Matt filed it right right a handful of stuff around bold so all you lawyers out there don’t you start any law firms with the word bold we’re going to come out yeah no we’ll come after you hard but you can make all the Bold coolers you want uh okay three or four however you want um Southwest wrap up thank you for coming on as our guest I appreciate you being here with us thanks for having me this is great you’re welcome for sure and Matt thanks as always for being a co-host with me yep or bold patents and the whole team here we’re here next week every Wednesday 1 30 Pacific 4 30 on East Coast we’ll see you next week have a good day everybody 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