Tyler Jorgenson 0:01
You’re listening to biz ninja entrepreneur radio. This show was created for entrepreneurs, business owners, marketers and dreamers who want to learn from the experts of today and drastically shortcut their own success to build a business that supports their dream lifestyle. Since 2011, Tyler Jorgensen has been interviewing business thought leaders from around the world, a serial entrepreneur himself, Tyler also shares his personal insights into what’s working in business today. Welcome to biz Ninja, entrepreneur radio. Welcome out to biz ninja entrepreneur radio. My name is Tyler Jorgensen, and I am your host today today we are going to talk with rich Goldstein, who is somebody who has served entrepreneurs for years and has helped them to patent their ideas. We’re gonna talk about the importance of intellectual property and why patents matter. We’re also going to talk about Rich’s journey of being an attorney and an entrepreneur. So welcome to the show. Rich.
Rich Goldstein 1:04
Thank you. Thank you so much for having me.
Tyler Jorgenson 1:06
Is that excited? I mean, patents, I heard you the other day we we met on clubhouse on the app. And we were talking about like IP in general. And you were kind of like, this is interesting. Then we brought up patents and your energy like 10. Next.
Unknown Speaker 1:21
So yeah, I mean, patents are the sweet spot for me, that’s for sure. Yeah. And I’d like to think I make it interesting. It’s not an interesting topic. But
Tyler Jorgenson 1:29
yeah, here’s the thing. I think patents are interesting if people are in the space, right? If you’re either an inventor, obviously, they better be interesting to you. Or if you’re an entrepreneur, you need at least understand them. So like, what’s the basic if you had to explain like, okay, every entrepreneur needs to at least know this about patents. What is it
Unknown Speaker 1:48
that every patent has a scope, it’s not an absolute, like you people think of it like that invention is patented, or that product is patented, and no one can touch it like as if it’s an absolute, but it’s not really true. It’s that there’s some aspect of it, that’s patented, there’s some features about it that are patented. And so you get this big range of opinions about patents, you’ve got some people that say, patents are so important, like you need a patent, you absolutely need to patent your product before you put it out there. And there are other people that say, Yeah, don’t bother with patents, because if you change one thing, then you get around the patent. And you know, you have people with these two opposite points of view. And the reconciliation of those two is that every patent has a scope. There are some patents that are broad that cover a whole new concept, right, and they’re valuable. And there are some patents that are very narrow, and they just cover a very specific version of something. And they’re not very valuable. So it could be both. And entrepreneurs don’t know the difference between the two.
Tyler Jorgenson 2:53
Yeah, absolutely. One thing that I’ve noticed over the last few years is there’s a little bit of a battle in the entrepreneur space about frivolous patents. People patenting an idea that even though they got it approved, is something that like the general market would assume maybe shouldn’t have been patented. Right. And the best one examples of this was on Shark Tank, when there was a T seat tech, right came in and they said, We patented the ability to put wires through your clothes. And this was back before Bluetooth was more popular. And they had all these, like, you know, headphone placements and things for your phone. And Mark Cuban just lost his mind. He’s like this, this shouldn’t be patented. So half of their business, a good portion of the revenue in their business was just going and suing people that were doing this thing and infringing on the patent. I’d love your thoughts on that. Yeah, I
Unknown Speaker 3:43
would say I’m not familiar to the specific situation. But most of the time, the people don’t know what they’re talking about. It’s not really true. You don’t get a patent on wires extending through clothing, unless that’s itself groundbreaking. You see, for something to be patentable, it has to not only be different from things that already existed, but it has to be something that’s not obvious. So even before people started putting wires through clothing, people would recognize that if you wanted to connect things up, you run wires, right. So it wouldn’t be patentable. The idea of putting wires through clothing, so, but so many people own patents and don’t even understand what it is they own. There was something more specific about it, I guarantee it. And, and, you know, Mark Cuban rightfully lost his mind, because that would be preposterous for someone to have a patent on that.
Tyler Jorgenson 4:40
Right. Okay, so, we’re gonna wind back a little bit, right, let’s find out rich Goldstein, before you became an attorney, what made you decide that this is the path you wanted to do? And then like what led to you niching down into being a patent attorney and business coach?
Unknown Speaker 4:59
Yeah, well I mean, first of all, when I went to went away to college to study electrical engineering, at the same time I started a business, I was selling wholesale salon supplies, beauty supplies, so I was going into salons, like, basically cold. And then I had a trunk full of supplies from friends of mine that ran a company in Brooklyn nearby. And I was just selling the different materials that they use nail files, haircutting, scissors, things like that. And so I started that business 17 when I was a freshman in college, at the same time, I started studying electrical engineering. And after a while, I wanted to change my major, I was like, you know, I want to go into business, because electrical engineering probably isn’t quite it. And then when I learned that, the reality of being an engineer is working on the same project day in and day out, maybe for five years at a time, they tell you, no, it’s not like designing this airplane, it’s like design, the fitting that goes on the air vent above your seat, then now work on that for the next five years. And I was like, this will never work for me, add as I am, I’m never going to be able to do that. And so someone told me about patent law, where in order to be a patent lawyer, you need to be an engineer and an attorney. And so I finished with electrical engineering, I went on to law school. And now I get to work on something different every day. Very cool.
Tyler Jorgenson 6:29
Not every attorney has a path like that, right? A lot of them. It’s almost very opposite. But I’d love that you that you were selling beauty supplies out of your trunk, right? Like you, you’ve had that entrepreneurial spirit so early on. And now you get to help your practice, you get to help all these entrepreneurs to make smarter decisions to protect their brand. You work with a lot, you’ve done a lot of bands, and you’ve probably consulted on dozens more than that. What do you see are some of the core differences between entrepreneurs who are successful with their product and those that aren’t?
Unknown Speaker 6:59
Yeah, I would say that the the big differentiator is resilience is the ability to fail, and not feel like they failed not be devastated by the failure, or even the ability to deal with a dip or a setback. And keep on. Because I mean, a lot of people like to fantasize that the entrepreneurial journey is linear, all pointed in the upward direction, but it’s not. It’s got ups and downs. And, you know, if you are able to be with those failures, and learn from them and not be devastated and not stop, most importantly, that’s the thing. I think the number one reason why people fail, like fail, and end is just that they stopped, they stopped trying. And just the last little piece I’ll add to that is, a lot of times people have an idea. And they think this is it, I’m going to be super successful with this idea. The truth is the people I’ve seen be successful, it’s usually the third idea. And so if the first one when it didn’t quite work out, was the end of the journey, they never would have gotten to the third idea, right? So doing the first idea in a way that’s sustainable, that allows them to have the energy to do it again, and then again, and then succeed, is what makes all the difference.
Tyler Jorgenson 8:20
The idea of resilience, were not internalizing the failure, making it their identity, but instead simply recognizing, hey, this is one thing that didn’t work. But here’s all the lessons from it, here’s everything I can learn. And here’s and then let’s move to the next. And for some entrepreneurs that might be within the same business, right? You might say, okay, I’ve this business, and this version, or this iteration didn’t work, we’re going to adjust. And other times, it’s like that idea that whole business is done. Here’s version now I’m going to try something different. And I love the idea of treating a business like a project and not like an identity, right? Like, okay, this is project going to see how this goes. And I’m either then going to invest more into it, or I’m going to end the project instead of a lot of entrepreneurs think, Oh, I started this now. That’s me. So if it doesn’t work, I didn’t work. And I think that personal identity is really dangerous. Absolutely. And there’s
Unknown Speaker 9:13
also just a bit of a fatalistic view of it too, with ideas. I mean, people get so concerned about, you know, having their ideas stolen, and it not working out. And I think part of what’s behind that is they think this is going to be the only idea they have a half, right? So if something happens to this one, it’s over. Right? And so it’s like an unrealistic view of it. It’s like almost like death, right? It’s like this is certain risk involved in skydiving, which has people not do it. Because if you know, one in 10,000, it goes wrong, you don’t get a second chance. And they look at it with their idea like they’re not going to get a second chance that it would be like a sort of idea death, where likely there’ll be another one that comes behind it.
Tyler Jorgenson 9:58
Yeah, it would be a better idea. would be like, hey, you have a the ability to jump and parachute. And if that one doesn’t open, you have an infinite number of attempts to continue to pull shoots be like, there is no ground in entrepreneurship, right? Like, right, we have the ability to fail and keep trying now you need to be smart about your resources and your money and things like that. But if we don’t have a limited finite number of ideas, and I think that fatalistic view is really dangerous to the entrepreneurial spirit, so I love that that’s something that you protect now, you have entrepreneurs come to me with ideas, what are some types of things that can and cannot be patented?
Unknown Speaker 10:37
Well, when you think about most physical products, they can be patented. software also can be patented, patented as a process, you know, something called composition of matter, which is basically like a combination of chemicals. So it could be a haircare product, or a pharmaceutical. But generally, if you’re thinking about a physical product, you are thinking in terms of a patent. You know, people get confused often between that and like a name for a product. That’s a trademark. So when you think, products, think patents when you think branding, then that’s trademarks, and content is copyrights. So like, it could be anything from a song to a work of art, or the content on a website. content in general is copyright. So people get confused between those three areas patent, trademark and copyright. And that’s really the divider.
Tyler Jorgenson 11:31
That makes sense. Yeah, and I think it’s true. I think all of that falls under intellectual property or IP law, but they’re all very different. And you’re a specialist in patents. What is one of the most unique patents that you’ve ever worked on? Ooh, that’s
Unknown Speaker 11:46
really hard. But, uh, because it’s a blur. I mean, I’ve done over 2000 at this point. Wow. unusual. And I would say unusual from the standpoint of being probably no real clear path to monetizing It was a new method of tying shoelaces. So I did a patent for it was a way that you would tie your shoelaces and they wouldn’t come on tie, because I guess of the dynamics of the knot. But, you know, to this day, I have no idea how they thought they would monetize such an idea. Like, you know, are you going to sell pre tied shoelaces? Or are you going to try to extract the licensing fee from people every time they tie their shoes? Wow. So but there are some people there are different reasons people go for a patent. And sometimes people just want it.
Tyler Jorgenson 12:36
Yeah. And it’s it’s a sense of achievement. This was my idea. And the government recognizes such, right.
Unknown Speaker 12:41
Yeah, exactly. Exactly. It’s,
Tyler Jorgenson 12:44
I don’t have any patents I do. Speaking of different, like trade or IP, I do have two trademarks. But I’ve never done patents like and that’s just not something that I’ve done. But it’s probably if I had a really unique, innovative product, I’m sure that’s exactly what I would do. So the first question was most unique. What about the most prolific,
Unknown Speaker 13:03
there’s a couple there that had to do with some something very specific to an industry. But you know, one was a friend of mine, also from Southern California, who he owns a bus company, and he created a vandalism proof seating insert. And basically, it’s like in inner cities, when you you have a boss that has upholstery, people sometimes want to take a knife to the upholstery and rip it apart. And so there’s a challenge, either have people sit on this hard plastic seat, or subject yourself to vandalism. And a client of mine who has this bus upholstery company, just about 20 years ago, he came up with this way to do both to make it comfortable and vandalism proof. And it’s something that he’s used on buses and 800 different transit authorities across the country.
Tyler Jorgenson 13:57
Holy cow. That’s a lot. It’s a lot of buses. It’s a lot of butts and seats.
Unknown Speaker 14:01
Yep, exactly. That’s really cool. Another client who invented something that has to do with how you attach foam exterior pieces onto the building, and also it’s been used throughout the building industry. It’s ubiquitous at this point.
Tyler Jorgenson 14:17
Very cool. Is there a product that’s out there that you wish you would have been able to work on that patent? Like, oh, man, I wish that when it comes I had to come across my desk.
Unknown Speaker 14:26
Yeah, you know, but for different reasons, though. Like, there’s a company called Traxxas. That makes remote control cars. And they also make full size race cars. They race a lot called short, short course racing like these these giant like 800 horsepower pickup trucks. Oh, yeah. And so me and my son from the time my son was four, we were really into these cars. And I looked up some of their patents and I said to myself, you know, I wish I was a patent attorney, because that would be cool, right? Yes. totaling about like, you know, the prestige, but it was just like, it would be bragging From my son, if I was a patent attorney,
Tyler Jorgenson 15:02
I love that. I think that’s cool. Because a lot of times, like, I think it’s okay that like, the things that we choose to do in business are because we just think it’s fun, and we enjoy it. We have a personal connection to it. I
Unknown Speaker 15:12
think that’s totally, totally.
Tyler Jorgenson 15:14
Yeah. Now you You are the author of the ABA consumer guide to obtaining a patent. Right? Correct. And I think everyone should go and buy that book, what’s like something that you hope everyone takes away when they read that book? Well, I
Unknown Speaker 15:27
mean, the whole concept behind the book is that it’s the guide for entrepreneurs to understand what they need to, in order to like in order to make the decisions about patents. So like, the one of the most popular books out there for decades, is a book called patented yourself, which is like a 600 page book, on all the details about, you know, how you address the envelope to the patent office, and whatever. But the truth is, any entrepreneurs and you and I know, I’m not going to try and patent something themselves, and they don’t need to know all that detail. They need to know the things that tell them, should I do this? Should I not do this? And if I’m going to do it, like how do I get the most out of it. And that’s what I wrote the book for, is for busy entrepreneurs, to spend the right amount of time learning about it, so that they can make good decisions for their business. So that’s really what it’s for. That’s awesome.
Tyler Jorgenson 16:16
So that that’s huge, because I think you are a little bit different than some attorneys where you don’t just rush everyone to go file a patent, right? Like there’s a strategy to it and timing and multiple choices in there, not just Yes, everyone should go get patents all day.
Unknown Speaker 16:30
Yeah, no, absolutely. And that’s the thing, though, too, is that most of the time people go for a patent. And they don’t understand really what they’re getting, they think they’re getting a patent on wires running through clothing, when in essence, they’re getting a patent that’s about when the wires run through the clothing, and it’s going through a series of grommets. And those grommets are held in place by snaps to. And then it’s something more limited than they really think they’re getting. So what I really want people to understand is if they’re headed for a broad patent, or they’re headed for a narrow patent, and so I’m all about educating entrepreneurs to help them see that you know, and essentially, you know, that’s why you see me on clubhouse, like I’m in these rooms talking about patents. And that’s often what I’m talking about is like, right, just hold on a second, like, Don’t jump into a patent, look into a bit first and look into what you’d even be getting before you invest the money.
Tyler Jorgenson 17:26
Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. So when you said invest the money, like how much does it really cost, if somebody does want to patent an idea or patent the product, it’s probably
Unknown Speaker 17:35
going to run you 10 $20,000 to patent something to get a utility patent, which is what protects the functionality of a product that that’s usually the type of patent that you want if you have an invention. So I’m going to be in that range.
Tyler Jorgenson 17:49
So I know like the IP laws in the United States have changed a lot over the last decade. And some people really don’t like the changes, the idea of going from first us to first to file allows really an unfair advantage to the large companies that have full legal teams, and know the laws better than maybe the young entrepreneur who just had an idea and took it to market before he read your book. Right? So is it as scary as it seems to some entrepreneurs? Do they need to be terrified of letting their ideas out into the wild?
Unknown Speaker 18:20
No, you don’t need to be terrified. And I think though, maybe the one thing that might have you feel less terrified, is beginning to believe that this is not your first and last idea there will be others do what’s reasonable to protect yourself. But if something goes wrong, it’s not the end of the world. You will have other ideas if you had a good idea, you’ll probably have another good idea.
Tyler Jorgenson 18:43
Yeah, absolutely. And I think sometimes people they hear the success story of, you know, someone that like takes the thighmaster as a one type of a mission of a product and license it and sells it as a women’s, you know, fitness machine. And those kind of like one big idea, or you know, whatever they are right, whatever the thing is, and they’re like, Oh, it’s that one home run that one big idea where the reality is for every home run, most inventors have had dozens of strikeouts, a lot of base hits a few doubles and triples, right. And then you hear about the homerun because that’s the one that made the news. But then like in a good inventor or a good entrepreneur shouldn’t just be swinging for one right? You should be always going. I don’t know why I’m so baseball. It’s cuz I’m wearing it because you like baseball? Yeah. But I just but I think it’s a fair analogy, right? Because we always talk about the home runs. But usually there’s more than one home run out there. And and I just I love how you’ve said it now several times, that it’s not about just one idea. And it’s not finite, like you got to turn into if you’re going to be in the product space. You you’ve got to be an innovator, not just someone that innovated once,
Unknown Speaker 19:53
yes, and sometimes the base hit is all you need for all the runners to advance.
Tyler Jorgenson 19:56
Yeah, absolutely. That’s a good way to say that and you About a bunt can win a game, right? So Right,
Unknown Speaker 20:03
exactly. But yeah, it is a journey. And I don’t think it’s a one time journey. And you know, very few people just hit it with their first invention like that. So yeah, I think what you really want to do is if you enjoy inventing, if you enjoy coming up with ideas, dig in, learn the process, and just take it step by step.
Tyler Jorgenson 20:22
Yeah, absolutely. So you know, rich, you’ve got your practice. You’re helping entrepreneurs, you do business coaching, and product launch coaching, and help entrepreneurs make smart decisions. What’s one major item on your personal bucket list that you’re gonna accomplish this year?
Unknown Speaker 20:38
I’ve actually, personally it but it is related to the business too, is I’m going to really grow an organic YouTube channel this year, cool. I do office hours every week where I do live q&a with people. And so I’ve been cutting those questions up into videos that I’m going to grow an organic YouTube channel. So yes, it’s still a business goal. But it’s something that there’s a commitment I made along with a group of other entrepreneurs, where we each come to make 221 YouTube videos this year, off basically the year 2021 without the zero. And, and if we miss, we shave our heads.
Tyler Jorgenson 21:16
I like it, how many people are in on that?
Unknown Speaker 21:18
I think there’s about six of us about six and some pretty prominent entrepreneurs too.
Tyler Jorgenson 21:23
That’s pretty awesome. What’s one last like shouting piece of advice that you could give to entrepreneurs that are listening, that are maybe just trying to think about, you know, their next steps.
Unknown Speaker 21:34
Final advice, I would say is, if you’re going to do a patent, then I guess we didn’t touch on this is your one and only time to do it is before you make it public. So it’s not always smart to pursue a patent. Again, you might not be headed towards a patent that’s really worthwhile. It depends on how different your product is. But the time to take a good look at that. And to decide yea or nay is before you make it public. Because once it’s been public, you immediately lose the rights and most of the world. And then the US after years gone by it’s game over. And too many people say well, you know, I’ll come back around to patenting it, and they come to me two years later, and then there’s just nothing I can do for them.
Tyler Jorgenson 22:18
So that is really tough, then because as an entrepreneur like to spend 10 to $20,000 on a patent on something that hasn’t even taken to market yet. You either need to have had some success somewhere else that makes sense for you to invest into that, or the business adding something to an existing business. Or you’ve just got to say I’m not I’m not gonna worry about I need to see if I can even make money with this. And maybe protected other ways through branding and things like that, I guess. But,
Unknown Speaker 22:42
yeah, yeah, it is a it is a critical decision you need to make there are some low cost ways to kind of get your foot in the door, like with a well written provisional patent application buys you an additional year. But yes, it’s a decision you want to make carefully and don’t just throw your money at a patent and then not have anything left over to build prototypes and to get into production. So
Tyler Jorgenson 23:04
yeah, silly, because that’s the worst thing you’ve protected idea, but you have you no longer have the resources to take it to market.
Unknown Speaker 23:11
Tyler Jorgenson 23:12
Yeah, that’s fascinating. I think that’s that is definitely something that a lot of entrepreneurs and product like early product developers probably haven’t learned yet. So I’m really grateful you shared that with the audience. Rich, thank you so much for coming on the show. It’s been great to talk to you about entrepreneurship and patents and IP in general. To all my busy ninjas wherever you are listening, it’s your turn to go out and do something. Thank you for tuning in to biz ninja entrepreneur radio. What you didn’t hear was one more very important question that Tyler asks each guest if you want to be a fly on the wall when the real secrets are shared, go to biz ninja.com slash VIP and get your access today. Remember to subscribe so that you don’t miss any future episodes. And our one last favor. If this episode was meaningful to you, please share this podcast with a fellow entrepreneur so they can grow along with us is ninjas. It’s your turn to go out and do something