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May 30, 2023
John Rizvi, Esq.

ABC News (WFTS - Morning Blend) Appearance: Simple Inventions that Earned Millions

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Do you have what you believe is the next best product but don't know how to make it come to life?


Well, our next guest is here to help us and explain how inventors can become real life entrepreneurs. Please welcome Professor John Rizvi, good morning, we've been chatting to zero for the entire hour.


This could go an hour proportionally, we don't have that time.


Let's start with your background a little bit and kind of explain how you we have a box here that we can't wait to get into and prove kind of the million dollar ideas that are out there. But it's important to get these patents sealed. Talk a little bit about your background.


Okay, well, I'm a professor, adjunct professor of patent law, I've been teaching for the past 18 years, I have worked at a law firm efficient nev in New York. And they're the law firm that patented the Wright Brothers airplane. Thomas Edison's light bulb, Henry Ford's ideas Alexander Graham Bell. But I never got to meet with inventors directly. I mean, their clients today were multinational corporations. So I was involved in meetings with MBAs and lawyers, and I wanted to work directly with inventors. Yeah, 17 years ago, I started my own firm, working directly with inventors and protecting their ideas. And you can


tell this as your passion to help others out there. That's why you've written two books. As of right now, I'm sure there's probably even more to come. But let's Can we start diving into this? These are great examples.


So a lot of people, they hesitate to see a patent attorney because they think what they've got to have like a time machine or the next airplane, or founding view, there's something that incredibly complex. But there's these simple, everyday ideas have, in most of you know, in the 20 years I've been practicing. No one's ever come to me with a flux capacitor. I've had plenty of clients with simple everyday products that have that have done incredibly well. So simple ideas. Like if you have if you've ever wanted to leave someone to note and didn't have tape handy, what would you use? It's posted. And I actually think


isn't that the joke and vendor of the post it note, there really was someone who invented the post.


Absolutely. And this product generates a billion dollars a year in revenue, a nice billion folks. And you know, another thing if you're, if your fingers get too hot on a cup of coffee, you can either use two cups, or you can use the old system where they had those little handles that pull out are these ways. You see, Jay Sorensen invented patented, a simple cardboard sleeve that just slips on and off of a cup. This idea has generated $10 million a year in royalty payments, and has done so for the past 20 years. And I


don't foresee it going anywhere.


And one of those difficult things for you to see is this people who have these ideas, they have proof that they have these ideas, but the product already exists, which kind of goes back to your childhood a little bit with the good


ol Rubik's Cube cube was playing how you were kind of maybe motivated by it. Absolutely.


When when I was 12 my my dream and sole ambition in life was to take this Rubik's Cube and make it round. And I guess you can tell the nerds early because that was I would I had a sketchbook under my bed with page after page of drawings of of my round Rubik's Cube. My mom knew about those drawings. And one day we're at the mall. And guess what I see? Oh, no, right there on store shelves for


you. There it is. The one already invented


already invented theater like this. This This was it. This was the impossible. Even had a better name than around Rubik's Cube, better named in mind. And I looked up and I didn't cry. You know, it's like, I'm not gonna cry. I'm not gonna cry. But because my mom had seen this sketchbook I look up at her and my mom's crying. She's like, Oh, my God. So


So you try to help these people and help their ideas. And I will say, I know you've got one other item in there that's quite interesting to talk about


one more that's going back to that the toughest part of my practice. I think that a week goes by that I see an inventor come in with evidence of an idea that they see on store shelves, that they just didn't, you know, fast enough. Well,


make sure we get into his advice. Let's say somebody has we have about a minute and a half left. What is your biggest piece of advice for people? If they are maybe working on something? Do you have to act fast?


Absolutely. You have to act fast. You don't I see a lot of people spend a lot of time and money on prototypes, and I absolutely am against that. You want to put together a working model as inexpensively as you can. So I don't mind paper cups and playdough and cardboard. But to go and start the idea


that you need to Pat right not the actual completed


Exactly. So for the when you filed the patent, you file it with drawings. And that's all you really have to show are drawings of the idea, you don't have to develop it.


And real quickly, he said that you even have to be careful about when you're because my thought is when you search it, let's make sure that it doesn't already exist, you go to Google. But you see that,


that is dangerous, specially if it's a simple idea. Like if you had to get into this one, if you had put in, upside down, catch a bottle. And this This idea was Paul Brown invented, patented and sold it for $13 million. And it's simply reversing the label, and you have a valve that doesn't leak when it's upside down. Something like that. If you were to type it in there's it's simple enough that those key words might give away your idea there, you know, there's marketing companies.


Time here, books, where can people get these and get more info?


The books if you you can get them at the patent Okay, and I have 50 videos on the patent process, animated cartoon videos that explain the process in simple, straightforward, we're


gonna go in the commercial break, we're gonna start drawing up our ideas. Maybe we won't be here the next couple of days. Stay with us. We'll be right back.

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