Well, finally today, you know, the world changes on a daily basis, probably minute by minute, thanks to someone's great idea. And if one of those ideas is yours as an inventor or an entrepreneur, how do you pursue that idea? We'll protect it. Our next guest, John Rizvi is an invention guru and patent attorney. Good morning. Thanks so much for joining us today. Morning. Cheryl. I've already been peppering you with questions in the morning, because it's such an interesting topic. Why did you decide to become a patent attorney?
Well, I was an engineer or patent attorneys are engineers, they have to have the technical background. And I had in college, a professor that's really focusing on patenting a new system for asphalt roadways. And I got fascinated. And that's where it all started.
Now, do you hold any patents?
I don't hold any patents myself?
Why is it so important? We talk about ideas, we talk about inventions? Why is it so important to protect what you've come up with with a patent?
Well, what the patent gives you, it gives you exclusive rights to the idea. So without that, especially if you're an individual inventor or a small business, it's gonna be really hard to compete economically with the large companies out there. So the patent keeps them from jumping in and stealing your idea and competing directly with you.
And it's interesting, though, but a patent doesn't offer you lifetime protection of your idea or invention, does it?
No, no, it's 20 years, which is not a lifetime. So you do have to, there is an incentive to continuously improve the idea. So if you have a significant improvement, you can file again. But otherwise, after 20 years, your your rights expire, and then it
becomes available to anyone to utilize your idea or your invention or and without having to improve or change upon
Exactly. It's part of the public domain, anybody can use it, and no compensation for the inventor.
Now you've written a couple of books, one is called Grow Rich for thinking Grow Rich for inventors. The other is called escaping the gray escaping the gray that's kind of a esoteric thought process. But there's there's a story behind it is
one of my favorite quotes is a quote by President Theodore Roosevelt. And the quote is, it's far better to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure than to live with those timid spirits, who knows neither victory nor defeat. And my reason for that first book, because I feel a lot of inventors are being held back, they have these thoughts that their idea is not big enough. And having practice for 20 years, I can tell you, I've never no one's come to me with a time machine. And I've yet to see that that infamous flux capacitor that supposedly would make that possible. But I've had plenty, plenty of inventors that become incredibly successful, just by addressing life's tiny minor annoyances.
Sometimes it is just the smallest thing you know, I was getting out of the car this morning. And when I opened the door, I had that little ding, ding ding to remind me that the headlights were on. And it amazed me that somebody initially hadn't thought of that. But somebody did.
Exactly. And it's everyday things like if you have if your fingers used to get too hot holding a cup of coffee, that cardboard sleeve, that's a simple cardboard sleeve that slips onto the cup. It's patented by Jay Sorensen. And it's invented patented and generates $10 million a year in royalty payments for the inventor, and has done so for over 20 years.
That's a great invention. What's the I'm putting on this spot here. But what's the most unique or unusual invention that you've ever come across or heard of?
It? Well, actually one of my own clients, Alex Gomez, he was a medical student. And he found it irritating that the surgical camera lenses would get fogged in the operating room into a cold hospital environment. warm body, the lens has got fog and he created a simple surgical camera lens defogger he dropped out of medical school pursued it with all of his passion. His device has been used in millions of surgeries. And he recently sold his company for $100 million. Wow. And it's again, it's it was a simple issue that he found himself. And that's so that's the first roadblock and vendors have is the that their idea they believe is not complex enough, or it's not big enough. The second one is that hey, I'm not the right person. And in Alex's case, I mean he's working with doctors, he's he's learning from professors, and here he is a medical student. It's easy to think like who am I to come up with something that's going to revolutionize surgical instruments and camera lenses. But that's that's you've got to overcome that. And you know, if you think about historically, like Oprah Winfrey was told he He's not that pretty enough to be on television. While Disney was told that he doesn't have enough imagination, he was fired, in fact, by for not having enough imagination. So that's really what escaping the gray is, it's the, I think, to help inventors get over that, that mental block that keeps them from taking the next step. And, you know, all of us suffer from that, in fact, part of what took me so long to come to publish these books is I had that myself is, you know, I started both of these is almost personal diaries, because I was thinking, you know, who, who am I to publish a book about patenting or inventions? Then you think back? And, you know, what if? What if Anne Frank never wrote her diary? Because she thought, you know, there's, there's millions of other Jews that have suffered in Nazi Germany, why me? Or what if Helen Keller, who was deaf and blind, thought that she had nothing unique, because she wasn't the only person that could not see or hear at the time? So that took me a while to really come forward and publish the books. And it's, I'm glad I did.
I guess, for people like you, and anybody who has an idea, the question should be, why not me? You know, why can't I be the one because the greatest ideas come from just that nugget is something that you probably have observed, like the person who invented the medical lens that, you know, they saw something that needed fixing and said, maybe I can be the one to fix it.
Exactly. And that's, that's thinking Grow Rich, I talk about now that, you know, Napoleon Hill is the author of the original. And it's the, you know, the single best selling self help book of all time. So it takes, you know, that that was one of the things that kept me for a long time thinking, you know, how am I going to take a crack at rewriting a book like this for specifically for the inventor?
Well, these books have all the information that people need to know if they want to patent something or know about patents, or maybe know how to take that idea and make it come to fruition. John, thank you so much for joining us. Thank you.
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