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Last Update: Sunday July 25, 2021

Key Idea: Secure Multiple Patents

Products should be protected by patents.

Key Question:


In the case of the cold-nosed projector, Jack and Ruth Ellen have 16 patents on various aspects of this one product.

Q: Why bother doing so much paperwork?

A: Multiple patents make it nearly impossible for someone to steal your idea. Many big companies are known for stealing ideas; they don't think twice about incorporating your idea into one of their products without paying you.  Yet, they  would not as readily attempt to copy a product that has multiple patents registered in the United States Patent office.

One reason it is so hard for small companies to make it big with new products is that big companies are predators. They can't help themselves. Their marketshare gives them huge advantage so they have cash for research and development and actually think they are smarter than you. Can you just hear a scientist in the labs of a place like GE saying something like, "We worked on that idea years ago, but it wasn't commercially viable.  We're just working on our own ideas."

Taking time to do the paperwork can actually save your life's work.

Think about it

Do you have patents to protect your inventions?  Would getting mutiple patents be a good idea for you?

Clip from: NoUVIR: Lighting Is Big Business

Seaford, Delaware: The bold among us take on the giants of industry.  This episode of the show is a classic David & Goliath story. Their slingshot is the US Patent & Trademark Office and Goliath looks like GE, Osram Sylvania, and Phillips.

Meet two small business owners who have slain the giants. Their advice for inventors is timeless.

Ruth Ellen Miller and her ever-inventive father and business partner, Jack Miller,  are  two of the brainiest people we've gotten to know and we've met lots of geniuses since the first episode back in 1994. They hold over 100 patents; they're expert witnesses on patent infringement lawsuits. And, they truly understand the heart and soul of intellectual capital. Their lighting business is the working evidence. Museums around the world come to them to provide the type of lighting that does not damage physical artifacts.

Their company is NoUVIR.  They create pure light -- no UltraViolet and no InfraRed. UV and IR found in typical lighting will destroy art and artifacts over time. 


Ruth Ellen Miller, Co-founder

Highway 13
RR4 Box 748
Seaford, DE 19973

Visit our web site:

Office: 3026289933

Business Classification:

Year Founded: 1990

Secure Multiple Patents

JACK: In the NoUVIR product line, which comprises the projector, and it is really a system itself, and all of the different luminaries that go on the ends of the fibers. We have 16 issued US patents. And it's usually not enough for you to have one patent because an aggressive company will, with their attorneys' advice, often intentionally infringe a patent.

HATTIE: Why? Because they think they can get away with it?

JACK: Yes. They think that they've got a 50:50 chance of beating one patent by getting it declared invalid in court, or maybe the individual entrepreneur can't afford to fight them in court.

HATTIE: So this big company's attorney says, `Hey, let's just go infringe and they probably won't be able to fight us off.'

JACK: That's correct. But as soon as you have the second patent, then the lawyers got to think twice, `Do I want to give advice to my client that says I have to invalidate two patents, not one?' Now they haven't got this 50:50 chance. He's got one chance in four. And three chances and four chances--or four patents, and we've got 15 patents now--16 patents now. There's five on this projector alone. Well, the possibility that a big company could successfully infringe five patents without ending up with a multimillion dollar settlement is pretty remote, and chances are it would never go to court.

HATTIE: OK. A patent is...

JACK: A patent is a monopoly that the government grants you for a certain period of time--in this case, it's 17 years to 20 years--and what it does is it gives you only the right to sue an infringer. The government won't help you one bit.

HATTIE: But they've filed this document; therefore, if someone does come after you, you're on record as owning the idea.

JACK: That's right. But you have to warn people that it's patented, so there's patent numbers on everything that we sell. There's patent numbers in our literature, in our ads, in our catalog. And so you have to let people know that it's patented. So our primary patent now is on this part of the projector, the nose, which if you feel it, it's cold. We call it Cold Nose. And Cold Nose is our registered trademark. And it takes the heat out of the light before it gets to the fiber.


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