A Board Certified Patent Attorney

A Famous Lesson In Filing Patents First: Alexander Graham Bell Vs. Elisha Gray

Elisha Gray One of my favorite stories pivots around the invention of the telephone, a photo-finish between Alexander Graham Bell and Elisha Gray to win the patent first. Most of you will probably NOT recognize Gray’s name but then history seldom remembers a runner-up! It could all have been so different if he’d followed one of my cardinal rules to protecting an idea in the United States. Watch my... Read More
Posted By John Rizvi In Uncategorized

How I Became The Patent Professor®!

The Patent Professor Story As one of the first patent attorneys in the U.S. to become board certified as an expert in patent law, I have spent 20 years in industry and academia helping inventors in Florida get their ideas protected with the United States Patent Office (USPTO). The following video outlines my journey from law school to opening up my own private practice to service inventors across the state. Please note I am... Read More
Posted By John Rizvi In Blogs

Why Is This iPhone Wraparound Patent Causing a Stir?

apple phone wraparound patent Apple recently applied for a patent for a new iPhone. While the company has been filing patent applications for new iPhones for several years, this particular design caused a small stir in the tech world. Instead of showing the standard rectangular glass display, this patent application had a diagram showing the screen wrapped around the entire phone. This design could completely revolutionize the... Read More
Posted By John Rizvi In Blogs

Will This Amazing Underwater Hotel Actually Happen in Florida?

Underwater Hotel Patent In the near future, could we be staying in a deep-sea hotel leagues below the surface? The developers behind Planet Ocean Underwater Hotel certainly hope so. The Florida-based project aims to become the first “self-contained affordable mini-luxury underwater hotel” in the world. Underwater hotels are nothing new. In Key Largo, Florida, a converted underwater research facility 21 feet below... Read More
Posted By John Rizvi In Blogs

Thomas Bales Demonstrates That Scientific Geeks Can Get Rich Too

Thomas Bales Miami Home There is a lot of debate whether it is now cool to be a geek. So-called nerds have changed society for the better with their inventions. One such creative type is Thomas O. Bales. This scientific genius used the proceeds from his patents to transform a Coral Gables, Florida, mansion into a virtual nirvana for inventive types. Anybody who enjoys whiling away a day tinkering with electronic and mech... Read More

Reader Question: Will my trademark application be denied if…

"Suzy" asks: If I look on uspto.gov and see that there is a company already trademarked under a name similiar to my company’s name will my trademarked registration be denied?   My response:   Not necessarily. Just because someone else has trademarked a name similar to yours does not always hurt your chances for getting a trademark.   A perfect example is the trademar... Read More
Posted By John Rizvi In Trademarks

Patent Writing Secrets: What’s the Hook?

Before beginning to draft the patent application there is one step you must take to make sure you get MAXIMUM protection for your idea (and to make sure no one gets around it). And that step is establishing the hook. Allow me to explain what a hook is with a rather famous example in patent circles. Years ago a man caught a rather tragic news story. A woman had died from carbon monoxide poisoning w... Read More
Posted By John Rizvi In Patents

Reader Question: Should I take my idea to an investor before getting a patent?

L.C. asks: Quick question. Would there be any issues going to angel investors, or venture capitalists before starting the entire patent process? Would that spark any legal trouble down the line? My answer. It’s not that it would spark legal trouble down the line. It’s that it could. Let me explain… The patent process grants you a few very specific and very attractive rights. Nota... Read More
Posted By John Rizvi In Patents

Problems to Products to Profits

I am NOT alone. It always amazes me how many people share my same problems (and are on the constant lookout for solutions – i.e. new products – for those problems). The other day a friend sent me a picture (below) of a bunch of “electricity splitters” plugged into each other…with one power outlet running a dozen or so devices. I looked at that picture and image the... Read More
Posted By John Rizvi In Patents

Inventor Celebrated by World’s Largest Search Engine

On April 24, Google celebrated the birthday of Gideon Sundback, considered the genius behind the zippers most people use today. The search engine is commemorating the occasion with a large, interactive zipper in place of its usual logo. In 1917 Sundback patented the "Separable Fastener". It is important to note that Sundback did NOT invent the zipper. That honor goes to, first, Elias How... Read More
Posted By John Rizvi In Patents

Cool Patent of the Month – Creepy Crawlies on Your Skin

Imagine if every time someone called you, your skin vibrated. Sound kind of weird? Well, that’s exactly what Nokia is planning to do with a new piece of patent pending technology called “Haptic Communication”. What is this new patent application about? The technology looks fairly simple. It’s just a piece of fabric that “vibrates” according to the strength of a ... Read More
Posted By John Rizvi In Patents

Patent Success or Failure Hinges on This…

I am often asked this question:   "Should an Inventor build on his Strengths or try to overcome his Personal Weakness?"   Well, I recently had to choose between the two. Like many people with a career that involves long periods of sitting behind a desk, I struggled with my weight. I’ve never enjoyed exercise, but luckily I do not have a sweet tooth either. To tackle this ... Read More
Posted By John Rizvi In Patents

The Trademark Checklist: 7 Steps You Must Take Before Filing

Not a day goes by that I don’t get a call from a distressed business owner who – after using one of those ‘trademark filing’ services online – contacts me because their trademark got rejected. And it always brings to mind the origin story of the lucky horseshoe. Legend has it a blacksmith (who later became St. Dunstan) was approached by a man who asked that horseshoes... Read More
Posted By John Rizvi In Trademark Basics

Patented 120 years ago: The electric tattoo machine

If you are an inventor with tattoos, you must read this… I just tripped upon this interesting little story about the patent behind the electric tattoo machine. Seems this tool was based on an engraving machine invented by Thomas Edison. It just goes to show how you can take an invention that is already out there…add a little twist of your own…and come up with an entirely new pate... Read More
Posted By John Rizvi In Patents

The Story of the Sexy Screen Starlet Turned Patent Holder

The November 28th, 2011 edition of Newsweek magazine featured an interesting article on a rather unexpected inventor – the “most beautiful woman in the world” actress Hedy Lamarr. The story of how she became a patent holder is an interesting one… It start in 1931 with a Czech art film called Ecstasy. In it is a nude scene that caught the eye of ammunition manufacturer Frit... Read More
Posted By John Rizvi In Patents