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By J.D. Houvener
Patent Attorney and Founder

Good afternoon, everybody. Welcome to The Bold and Better Show. I’m your host, J.D. Houvener, and I’m here with my trusty, always ready to rock and roll co-host, Matt Kulseth Oh, hello, hello, hello. You’re looking quite sharp today. Did you have a court appearance or something, my friend?

Yeah, a couple of traffic—no joke. No, um, okay, so yeah, I came home from my trip, and I haven’t had a chance to, like, do all of the laundry. And so now I’m, you know, digging out the clothes that actually, you know, look like turning clothes. Smells absolutely—my goodness. We’re all right. You’re looking quite sharp. We’ll have to maybe make your image larger. Uh, from time to time, for those on the podcast. There we go. Yeah, looking sharp.

So, um, okay, we’re kicking this thing off. We’re starting out weird. We’re talking weird. It’s getting funny and weird. That’s the topic—weird patterns, funny pens. And I kind of, you know, tongue-in-cheek was thinking about, “You know what? That is rude,” because the truth is all inventors are weird, right? They’re coming up with strange things, and they have found a way, obviously, if they’ve got it patented, to be the first human in the whole world to come up with something and bring it to the world.

And what we’re going to talk about today, and we have a repeat theme, is that okay, patentability is one thing, but having success, right, making money is another. And you do need marketability. And so I’m going to show my patent success Matrix, uh, which is, uh, Matthew probably saying that before, where we’re going to kind of talk about some of the things and why you need to be concerned about both. Okay, um, but we’re going to have some good laughs and have some fun. I’ve got seven examples to jump into. Matt, did you have anything on your mind before we get right to these?

No, I’m, uh, I’m excited. My wife—I didn’t tell you this, JD—my wife is in Paris right now. She took a solo trip to Paris. Whoa, as payback for me going down to Montana. She decided, you know, I’m going to leave you with the kids for a week. I’m wild. I’m getting images from her just all around Paris, eating croissants and stuff. That sounds so good. I love Paris. I went with my wife in 2014 before we had kids and had a blast. We spent six days there, and it was awesome. It was just chill. It was awesome. We walked around everywhere. It was awesome. Well, hopefully, she’s having a good trip.

Yep. Um, and enjoying that. So let’s see here. We are attorneys, and so before we jump into these screen share, I’ll be looking at some patents and their word. Hopefully, you’ll get, you know, a little bit of excitement and kind of lower that, you know, frenetic energy sometimes inventors get caught up, “Oh, I’ve got to have the most technological, the most amazing, you know, earth-shattering invention.” And this is gonna, you know, no. What you want to find is the Chia Pet. I mean, that’s what we’re looking for.

I was thinking about it, Matt. Do you need the, um, the bread tie, the, the bread tie, the piece of plastic that’s going to be in every single person’s house? Um, it’s just that thing, the guitar pick. I don’t know. Little things. You don’t need to be, uh, you know, Einstein. Okay, classic reference. You need to think of something new. So these will be, um, hopefully, you know, a nice little wind in your sails, Mr. Mrs. Inventor. Um, if you have questions, I do encourage you to ask. Um, but the answer is, you know, hey, money-back guarantee, as Matt says with respect to our, our, you know, quality assurance, we’re gonna do our best. We are not your attorneys, as I’m sure you are aware. But if you’re not, this is not a confidential forum. This is a public live broadcast. So please do not ask or share your confidential invention information. If you do have something to share, I will provide a link later today where you can book a free discovery call with our good buddy Dallas, who is our intake and client success manager. The best. He’s a bomb. He’s a bomb. Don’t forget trademarks. It’s not just about patents here. Maybe we can do a weird trademarks day. Um, have you compiled, you know, something, yeah, I would love to do a weird trademarks day. Okay, good. Isn’t that every day? Okay. Let’s just get right to it, my friend. All right, we’re sharing my screen. I’m going to share the whole thing. Oh, no, I’m not. That would get me in trouble. So this, as advertised, I want to show really—ah, what do I do? I want to show this one. This was on the cover.

Drum roll.

“Pantyhose garment with spare leg portion.” Huh? All right, all right. One of the drawings first. We did this for football, and this is so good. When I first saw this, I thought, “Oh, my gosh, are two people getting in the same pantyhose?” But then there’s only three, and then things started getting x-rated in my mind. And then, no, no, no. This was brought, actually, to our whole law firm team meeting for a couple chuckles. But it was explaining that this is, for the most part, women’s pantyhose. Okay, okay. The concept is if you get a run in the leg—you’re familiar with that, right?

Oh, yeah, yeah. I mean, whenever I wear pantyhose.

So you simply dash into the restroom, tuck in and wrap around your waist the one that has the run in it and stick your leg down the new one.

Okay, okay. Practical. You have to carry a bit of extra fabric, um, but they had to get around some prior art. I mean, you can see this is going to be bulky. I mean, you’re not going to be wearing anything skin-tight and get away with that. Um, you see the crotch absorbent pads. So as we get down toward the bottom, they had to limit the claims. My goodness, uh, said panty member constructed by stitching pantyway sections. Oh, here. Excuse me, claim number one. We’re talking about a panty is gone with a spreading portion comprising a panty member having three absorbent crotch members. My gosh, when two is not enough, when two—

I think it’s perfectly said. Moving along. You know, 1998. And so, you know what’s good news for you, Matt, being a pantyhose worker? Um, this is now completely open to the public. This has passed its 20-year expiration. Anyone can go and make a three-legged pantyhose. Yes, you can make yourself completely exploit this technology. Yeah. Um, and it’s actually, no, maybe less known. Um, so I’m hopeful that Annette Papa’s was able to make some money out of that. Um, I mean, I will say it’s, it’s got some practicality, I bet.

Yeah, and, you know, I was saying there’s a lot of prior art, and the fact is, I’m wrong on that. I mean, the examiner’s job is to find anything that’s even remotely close. And they only came up with, okay, five references and one foreign time document. It tells me this thing is unique. Okay, let’s go to the next one, as advertised again. Let’s do it. We’re rocking and rolling. Keep an eye on the—are you able to see the questions come in if we have any?

Yeah, I should be able to.

Okay, keep an eye on that. This was on the front cover as well. Okay, you’re a pet owner here, uh, yeah. Um, what is this? Is this to keep water out of dog’s ears when they get wet?

Oh, that’s all. You know, let’s take a look, actually. Uh, protecting the ears, especially long-haired dogs, from becoming soiled by the animal’s food while the animal’s eating.

Okay. So if you got a big dog and this device looks like it keeps the dog’s ears pinned back so they can’t get their food in their ears. Yep. It is weird. It looks like, um, gosh, that’s weird-looking. It looks like, do you know the, uh, like when people used to have, like, that device or that helmet thing or hat that people wear, they had, like, the two beer cans on the side, right? It’s like that, but the beer cans are turned horizontal.

When were the inspiration? I mean, you imagine every time you go feed your dog and try to get strapped onto this, it’s just—it’s just, you know, panting and just slobbering everywhere. Ludicrous. No one’s gonna use this. The dedication you’d have to have, I suppose, perhaps show dogs. Those are extremely well trained.

Oh, how uncomfortable. Let’s say there’s a chin strap, even, yeah. How embarrassing is the dog, you know, there it is. Yep, you’ve got the cone machine was bad. Look at this thing. This is in the realm of, like, the optigrab, right?

Yeah, definitely. This is, um, okay. This might win some award. I was back in 1980s. So, again, that is for a game. This one, however, is how I woke up this morning. This is how I—on my bed, I have the set of 100 chimes. This would be so scary. Uh, now, this was a long way back, 1882. So the standard four posts were bad. Um, you’ve got the clock on the wall and some sort of apparatus. Look at the guy’s face. I know. He looks like he’s like about to be smothered. He looks terrifying. And, you know what’s even—it’s perfect because with an alarm like this, there’s no way in hell you’re, you’re gonna get married. Um, he’s alone, so that’s unfortunate. I don’t know if it qualifies as some sort of birth control device. I mean, this would be—have to be a last resort. The last resort, you know, where you’re talking about you just can’t, you know, your alarm, you’re not able to hear it. Yeah, maybe it’s a hearing-impaired, so what is it? So like, it’s attached. So for the, uh, the listeners out there, it’s a—it’s a picture of a man looking very disturbed laying in bed. And above him, attached to a wire cabling system attached to a clock, are a bunch of chimes. And they look suspiciously close to his head.

Well, they do. I mean, just this is, of course, the figure one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, by one, two, three, four, five. So it’s only 60. It’s 60 individual chimes. And there must be a mechanism. So let’s—let’s see. I’ll go and rotate back here. Whoa, yeah. So this is—this is back in the day when people read upside down, yeah, yeah. Um, Leonardo da Vinci, where you’re writing in a mirror, right? As a means of what? Waking persons from sleep, the combination of the light frame, okay, the chord, the device for retaining, automatically releasing said cord. So it appears like, okay, it’s not necessarily like a very involved, like there’s no combustion engine involved, yeah. It seems like it, like, drops the chimes. It’s just gonna drop the little cable about an inch and get them to make noise, yeah. So it’s, it is mechanical. Um, okay, yeah. Okay, yeah, that’s weird. Thank you, Samuel Applegate, for that. Okay, let’s move on. We got four more to go. We’re making good time. Okay, fast forward to 1981. Um, you know, this, for, for office workers, administrative staff, you know, back then when envelopes were big, you know, in 80s even early 90s, and some days I’m still doing a couple envelopes. What’s the worst thing you have to do? Licking to stick them. No, you don’t, because now it’s an automatic postage licker. Yep, that’s what you need. Yeah, and no one knew about this. See the shape of a lip and tongue. We’re looking at podcasters. Is wow, with, with full lips, and you see itemized 12 and 40 as the top lip, uh, looks like a female lip perhaps. You could customize it and get a male, get a mustache right there. And that does the 25, of course, looks like it’s the major functional piece. But this is a brick. This is a box. Looks like a Kleenex box. And you push a button to uh, bring out the moistened pad. Um, you know, I have seen just simple sponges, but for heaven’s sakes, when that’s not enough, why not get something that looks like a tongue? So this has got to be a novelty, really. Um, they couldn’t have, but there is enough utility here. And, and what’s interesting about these—we call it weird inventions to point out is that I, I suspect that this inventor, Donald Pointer, you know, he is, this is tongue-in-cheek, no pun intended. It’s, it’s like a Spencer’s Gift. It’s, it’s going to be a novelty item, something hilarious. And that is enough, entertainment is enough to, to meet the utility requirement for patentability and eligibility is very cool. Of course, it has to be mechanically and structurally sound. However, they’re claiming it’s unique, novel, and non-obvious. But, you know, no idea is too dumb, right? I mean, your own human tongue does this. This is funny, and that actually may have been what brought it over to be non-obvious. It’s weird; it is weird.

Okay, this one, we’ve got three more left. I don’t get too many of these, but okay, wearable device. This was funny. Are you a bird lover? What do they call those, warblers? No, warblers. I’m not either. What do they call the people that like to watch birds? Oh, well, I’m thinking of the Audubon. So the answer to the question is no, obviously. Yeah, we don’t know. Now, this one’s funny. I like eagles. Now, if this works for eagles, I’d be freaked out because look at what we got here. You just put it on your head. Okay, if you’re goggles were closed for someone who wants to get really, really intimate with a girl, drop the binoculars, you just got to wear this. This is incredible. And it’s a… yeah.

This podcast is okay. What we’re looking at is an individual that can place an apparatus on their head. It’s got two beams that extend outward that then hold the bird feeders on it. And also, you can actually have it going in three to, you know, two different directions. Okay, yeah. And all you got to do is just look to your left or look to the right to get all your looking that you need to see without, you know…

Well, and yeah. So, good listener at home. You’ve seen those things people wear that looks like they have an arrow stuck through their head. You know, the arrow comes in one set, comes out the other. Same idea but attached to it or some sort of like bird feeders or hummingbird feeders. Yeah, it’s wild, man. It’s wild.

All right, we’re closing on the end here of the weird patents. This one is cool. I mean, do you ride a bike? I’ve been known to ride a bike. Have you ever ridden a bike where you’ve got, like, you know, your child behind you in those little safety seats? No, my parents used to have one of those. I used to ride back… Oh, it was just so good. Then it came… that would have been wonderful. I mean, you were not a child in 2001, and I’m the… no, I’m a baby of the ’80s, baby days. But look at this. This is your dad. Look at the activity belt. Wow.

Yeah. Okay. I’m looking at what we’re seeing is basically a giant workout belt, if you can imagine, with horn, whistle, clicks, a flower, D-leo. Yep, some other stuff. Yep. To keep the child busy because otherwise, you know, looking at Mother Nature isn’t good enough. No. Yeah. This is… I guess this would be for, like, if… if you… I think most useful, I would say, um, for like, uh, a stationary bike. I don’t know, man. This is such a particular… such a particular solution for such a particular problem, niche. Uh, yeah. Totally niche.

Let’s do one more, and then I want to show the patent success matrix. Then we’ll jump to our bold bite. Last one today. Um, you were out and about in Montana, and I was… did you think about snakes when you were out walking around hunting? You know, I did not. I did nothing but snakes. You did have that running, a close running with them without… Yeah. Yep. We had the mountain lion calling us. If you’re worried about snakes, maybe if you’re in front of the high desert, um, you could have just worn this, this snake repellent system. Oh, boy.

And it just simply straps around your leg. And when it hears… No, I actually don’t know. I just want to look at this for a little bit. So what is this thing? Is it, like, does it give off a smell? Let’s look. Let’s take a peek. It looks like, you know, like a hockey puck attacks or somebody’s leg with a strap, yeah. Nauseous gas or noise coming from it. Oh, so it’s a receptacle to which a quantity of garlic or onion… Oh, this is for… this is for vampire snakes, is it? Okay. I see. I didn’t know. Yeah. Vampire snakes, you know, you got to be joking. I don’t know. Apparently, yes, relying on the fact that snakes can smell. I don’t know that. And then two, that garlic onion is what is going to repel them.

Oh my goodness, the receptacle may be provided with a mincing rack to mince a clove of garlic, thereby more fully releasing its aroma. Wow. So my goodness, that would stink. So, you know, again, inventions for a single person, um, someone who’s out in the wild, someone who likes to cook with garlic, you know, and likes to cook outside.

All right. I don’t know. Let’s get serious a little bit. Uh, we’ve got two minutes of this. I’m gonna share my screen on, um, the patent success matrix. This is something that we talk about here at Bold with our clients, um, in all seriousness when they’re looking to go after a subject matter. It’s gonna be a little bit small for you guys. I’ll zoom in a bit. So, we just looked at granted patents. Yep. Okay. That the USBTO examiners have said, you know what, yes, this is worthy of getting a patent. Well, all they’re talking about is this Y-axis, right? Going back to math class, patentability, up-down, you know, what’s good enough? It’s green enough to me. It’s novel, eligible, novel, and non-obvious. And which is how we talked about has utility. Yep. Does it have marketability, though? Right? This X-axis. For those we just looked at, I highly suspect not. Are they, is the market size big enough? Was there a big enough industry? How many competitors do they have? Is there really a true demand? That’s really the biggest question.

Um, so a lot of those we saw were kind of novelty, kind of, you know. So, if it’s going to cost, you know, investment of 15, 20-plus thousand dollars, you want to make sure you’re going to at least get a good ROI on your investment. Um, so that’s what this whole page is talking about. So I want to provide the link to this. There’s a whole discussion about each step here for you, free listeners, about novelty, non-obviousness, marketability, what it means to do some research. Um, and while us, you know, being lawyers and patent attorneys, we help answer that patentability question. It is on you, the inventor, to really explore marketability and to make sure hire professionals. We do have others that we can make referrals to, but that is the onus is on you to get that done.

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