Just a TED Talk Speaker John Rizvi has some advice on turning an invention into some cold hard cash. Well, we've all had an idea we thought was so original, so perfect we should patent it few of us ever do. But the brave ones redefine our daily experiences with their incredible inventions Best Selling Author and the man known as the patent Professor John Rizvi is here with some practical advice for budding inventors. Hi, John, how you doing? You brought some interesting inventions. And we'll get to those in a second. But you call this the golden age of invention. Why is that? Yeah,
it absolutely is. When I became a patent attorney, 20 years ago, there wasn't nobody knew what a patent attorney was. I mean, a shark tank was a tank with fish in it at SeaWorld, so there was no Amazon store or eBay stores. The only way an inventor could really get their product out there was to have a large manufacturer license it right, everything's changed. The big can go directly, they can create an online store for about $1,500.
Wow, it's incredible. It is really a different world for people with a bright idea. Does it have to be a big idea? Does it have to be a time machine? Does it have to be life altering? can it just be some
No, no. In fact, in my 20 years as a patent attorney, no one's ever come to me with a like a flux capacitor. So but I've had plenty of clients with small, simple, everyday ideas that that have done incredibly well.
Yeah, you brought a few and one of them goes to something that happened to you when you were a kid like I, I have told people before I believe I came up with the stopper idea that Starbucks has a little green stoppers, I used to cut straws and jam them in there to plug the hole while I was driving, saying somebody should invent something. It should have been me. But it wasn't you've heard these kinds of stories.
Not a not a week goes by that I don't speak with an inventor at my office. That's, that's comes in with books and notebooks and evidence of having come up with an idea first. And it's heartbreaking because I can't do anything for them. That us is on a first to file basis. So if you don't file that application, first, you're out of luck.
So really, it is about speed and time and getting across the finish line first. Absolutely. Yeah. Is it the same everywhere? Is it the same in Canada when it comes to patent law? Do you have to be the first Yes,
yep. So that's the fundamental speed is everything that the in the US prior to 2013? We were a first invent the laws were first to invent. So you did have a grace period? That's gone. Yeah, it's just first if you
don't file. Okay, so you brought a couple of things. I mean, the sleeve? Why is the coffee cup sleeve? Well,
I mean, it's a simple cardboard sleeve. It slides on and off of a cup, the inventor Jay Sorensen has invented and patented it, it has annual royalties paid to him of $10 million. Really, it is been for the past 20 years, really. And it's simple idea. It's not you know, it's not rocket, right. It's just just to
keep your hand from burning. Catch up. Remember the old routine with the ketchup, sometimes you take the top off and slip a knife in there to try and get the ketchup out. Now, you tip it upside down. And that's where it stays right? Because the the squirt part is different. Yeah,
no more, no more hitting the back to get the ketchup out. And it's reversing the label. So it's it's upside down, right? And then a leak proof.
Top Did that make somebody a ton of money?
Paul Brown invented and patented, it sold the idea for $13 million. These are
These are, of course, all the smart kids were doing the Rubik's Cube back in the day. And people thought, how are you really going to change that it's such an original idea to begin with. You actually also had an idea
when I was when I was 12. My my dream and sole ambition was to create a round Rubik's cube. And I had a sketchbook with page after page of drawings of that. And then one day, my mom took me to the mall. And I went to this the shelf where they had Rubik's cubes. And this is what I saw there. It was it was in my 12 year old mind idea. And they even had a better name than I was going to call it the round Rubik's Cube. I didn't know anything about trademark infringement at that
They called it the impossible. Right. And I you know I can making it's felt like a kick in the gut. Yeah, that's how in my office when I have inventors come in. It's I can relate to that.
Yeah, you're a lawyer. Do all inventors need a lawyer at some point?
The patent laws, they're extremely complex. I would absolutely recommend a lawyer. It's the way that patent determines how broad your protection is. So if it's not done, right, I mean, every single word in in the application could have huge ramifications, right?
If it's not done right, you don't get your 10 million from this. And if it's not done right, you don't get your 13 million. That's a motive right there at listen, I really appreciate it. I hope all the people who have great ideas out there, don't do what I did and cut up straws and stuff them in the hole. Go out and make something and make your million Thanks, John, if you want some to get some practical advice on patenting your own invention. You can go to John's website of course he's on all the social media platforms but check out the patent professor.com.
Well, now that warden and I feel really bad because we are not responsible for it. We got a million dollar a year product.
We didn't get to work yet. I show you we are going to lock ourselves in an office and we're going to fill up notebooks with ideas. Absolutely. There's no bad ideas.
I think there are but we'll get them out of the way early. The good idea we have now is this weather that is melting all the snow Yeah.
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