Running the Bases today with Devin Miller the Founder at Miller IP Law - Miller IP Law is a law firm that focuses on helping startups and small businesses with patents and trademarks.
Miller IP Law was founded by Devin Miller, a patent attorney that lives in Utah. As Devin worked for a large law firm helping fortune 100 clients with their intellectual property, he realized that there was not a good resource out there to help start-ups and small businesses understand intellectual property, including patents, trademarks, and copyrights. As a small business owner, Devin wanted to provide a resource for start-ups and small businesses where they could learn about patents, trademarks, and copyrights and how they relate to business to help small business owners like himself build value into their business and protect their assets.
In this podcast, Devin talks about how to set up your own patent portfolio to protect yourself and your ideas. He also goes over different strategies that can help you secure those patents faster. We review the various forms of IP Law and how it can impact your business - Patents, Copyrights, Trademarks - we cover it all!
Schedule a free strategy meeting with Devin at strategymeeting.com
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I'm Randy Rohde and I'm fascinated with entrepreneurs and small business owners. Plus I love baseball. Every show I sit down with a small business owner and we discussed their running the basis of entrepreneurship. We throw the ball around on strategy management, execution and innovation. Plus a little fun baseball tart. Hey, thanks for joining us today. Settle in, grab your cracker jacks and you know what they say? And it's a great day for a ball came, uh, maybe a little snowy and cold, but we're still having fun. Hey, we've got something special for you today. If you're looking for a serial entrepreneur who doubles as a lawyer with a technical engineering degree, who happens to specialize in helping startups protect their inventions and brains. Here's a bonus. If you need them to know Mandarin well, today's guest is exactly the guy you need. Uh, our guest is from the great state of Utah, uh, double major from BYU and electrical engineering in Mandarin. Uh, he went on to do a double graduate degree. Um, Ohio, his very own case. Western university got his law degree and MBA. He went on to found several businesses on his own and also starting working on some larger law firms, helping just a few small companies like Amazon Ford and Intel secure patents and trademarks, uh, before heading out on his own and open. His own law firm. And when he's not wearing his legal head, he can be found running one of his three other businesses preparing for his own podcast or just out running literally. The guy runs about nine and a half miles a day out in the great outdoors of Utah. So that is a lot of miles. Um, everybody welcome to the show. Devin Miller, founder and CEO, managing attorney at Miller IP law. Devin. Welcome to this. Hey, well, thanks for having me. I'm excited to be here and Hey, that's a lot of, a lot of things covered in my introduction. So it sounds like we'll have a great conversation. Who is that guy? Uh, that's good. Um, well, listen, my research team really wants to know, do you really run nine and a half miles a day? I'll say yes with one caveat. So I run nine miles a day for Monday and Tuesday, and then I'll do Peloton for Wednesday and Thursday. Friday and Saturday I'll run another nine and a half miles. And then Sunday I take the day off. So if you were to say technically it's an everyday, no. Cause I take a couple breaks to do cycling and I, I don't do anything on Sundays, but it's pretty close. Wow. Is that is something so why nine and a half? That, that half like, do you have a specific grout and that's just kind of what comes out. Yep. That's exactly right. So I would usually, you know, at least for me with running, if I have a route that I can say, Hey, here's my goal. I'm going to make it to this spot. And then basically you're making that spot and you have to run back because you don't have any other way back. And so for me, it's, Hey, I had the spot that I know I are, you know, selected it's basically I run to a bridge. It's just a little bridge that goes over a Creek and it happens to be about nine and a half miles. And so I just end there and it's at the end of a street and then I turned around and come back. Hey, nice, nice. Do you run marathon? No, I do. I haven't. I keep intending to do another one. So I've done a few and I did a couple when I was in Ohio, on the air force base there, I've done a couple of Utah and then I keep saying, I'm going to do another one. And then every year comes a log and I get busy and then I'd never quite get to it. So I've done several and I definitely enjoy them, but, uh, I've looked into that to get, or get another couple on the books here. So. Good. Good for you. All right. Uh, let's see. Let's kind of tech before we can dig down. Actually. Why don't you just tell us real quick and we're going to ask a lot more questions in regards to your law firm, but why don't you give us a real quick rundown on, uh, Miller IP law? What it is that you guys do over? Yeah. So Miller IP law for those, or may or may not be familiar, IP stands for intellectual property. Um, so now, now people are saying, okay, that's great. Now, what is intellectual property? So intellectual property really kind of an umbrella term. That includes patents includes. It includes copyrights. And so that's a lot of what we focus on. We also help businesses with like business formation. So LLC, that sport C4 we'll do some cease and desist letters. We'll do some MBAs or, um, or an IP assignment agreements. So those types of things, so really. What I would say is we tend to focus on helping startups and small businesses with their, uh, to protect and grow their business. And so you usually services. If you need to protect and grow your business, that's what we tend to offer with the, with the focus on, on patents, trademarks and copyrights. Just really fascinating stuff. Yeah. Uh, all of the good stuff. Okay. Well, I've got a bunch of questions about that, and I want to dig into kind of the differences and why somebody would need to, or want to, uh, utilize that, uh, service. But before we get into that tow, so you doubled majored in electrical engineering and Mandarin or Chinese, I guess. W w okay. You have to walk us through that. Now you're practicing laws. So, you know, wow. Either you just love being a student or you probably like 80% of the other college students had no idea what in the world they wanted to do. Yeah. It's probably neither of those to be honest. So, um, You know, I backing up. So I started undergraduate and I was going into electrical engineering. So I did that for about a year. Did some undergraduate work and then I want it, or I decided I wanted to go serve a religious mission for my church. So I'm a member of the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints. Nickname is Mormon or LDS. Um, so that's where I went in or after that first year said, okay, I'd like to go serve a religious mission. And the way it works is you don't get to choose where you go. You just say, Hey, I'd like to serve. They, you kind of give some vague indications. Do you want to learn a language or not? In the sense you're having to learn the language. And so lo and behold, I got, uh, got called to, uh, Taiwan, which is also Mandarin speaking, depending on who you ask, it's part of China, or you separate for three, I go up the separate country, but it depends on which side of the island, which partner politician. Yes, but as it is, so I, that's where I picked up the Mandarin Chinese. So I'd always kind of had. Focus of going on electrical engineering. But when I came back after, or a couple of years in Taiwan said, Hey, why don't I just add that on as a second major or second degree, I already know the language and it'll be, you know, it'd be worthwhile just to kind of continue to develop that. So that's where the. Mandarin came in now I kinda got to the end. And so it wasn't that I was not that I was the most amazing student. I did fine, but it wasn't like I was, Hey, I just love to study and love to learn. It was more of this. Well, like, you know, I have the things that I want to study and I want to do. And so it was kind of, okay, well, got to the end of undergraduate and said, well, what do I want to do when I grow up? And I said, well, you know, I got an electrical engineering degree. I like engineering, but I don't want to be an engineer. So in other words, typical engineer, you know, you're a, you start out as a very small cog in a big, well, you have to get 15, 20, 30 years of experience. You finally wait, work your way up and you might have a little bit of an impact or say on the business, or you might just stay or continue to being. I said, well, that doesn't really sound like what I want to do for my career. And so I was kind of coming out of undergraduate, said, what do I want to do with my life? And I kind of said, I'd love startups and small businesses. I think entrepreneurship sounds cool, but I also kind of think the legal aspect of intellectual property, patents and trademarks, and working with startups and small businesses. And that sounds interesting as well. So as I was coming out of undergraduate and I said, well, I can do entrepreneurship. I could do law. And I said, well, rather than choose one or the other unskinny we're right down the middle. And I'm going to do both. That's where I kind of started or down doing both the MBA degree as well as the law degree. And I kind of balled that same monster throughout my degree. So it really wasn't that I loved school. It really, I didn't know, you know, fairly had a fairly good idea. At least once I got towards the end of graduate or undergraduate what I was going to do, but it just kind of, I had multiple interests. I figured I didn't, I, why should I have to choose one or the other? I'm just going to choose all of them. Yeah. Good for you. Alright. Well, I love that approach. I love pursuing, um, uh, not necessarily decrees, even though I have more degrees in probably w w what I need. Um, but, um, I absolutely loved the idea. Just, you know, I'm really interested in this, so I'm going to do them all and go pursue and do things. Yeah. Because in reading through your bio and kind of in preparation with the notes and the show today, I thought, well, you know, electrical engineering is not necessarily the most thought of. Preparation for law school. So he must've at some point had some other idea of what he was going to do. So, um, uh, this a quick decide on that one. So what's interesting is. And as you know, most of the time when you're going to law school, you are thinking I'm going to take its easiest classes and not knocking any lawyers. I have plenty of boyfriends, but a lot of them, they do pre-law or something of that nature, which is relatively easy to get a good GPA. And as compared, or compared to some of the hard sciences, if you just look at the degrees and the, the general air GPA's. And so it is, it puts you at a disadvantage going into law school because you're going into very hard or hard to degree in major. Typically your GPA's lower. And now you're having to compete with people that have high GPA's that are you sit there and say, they just kind of had fun throughout school. I worked my butt off. And so that was kind of one thing. But the other interesting thing is to do, uh, do, be a patent attorney in other words, to be there in intellectual property and primarily patents to be able to be eligible, to sit for the patent bar. In other words, to be a patent attorney, you have to have a technical undergraduate, so you have to have engineering. Visit some math or some math degrees, but it has to be a hard science degree. So while it's more difficult to get into law school, if you want to go into intellectual property, there's that barrier of entry where you have to have that as an undergraduate. Ah, I had no idea. We'll see there. You're teaching us stuff already today. Devin. That's good. Uh, I didn't know that, that you had to have that technical background in order for the, uh, IP bar. Um, all right. So that, that helps, right? Do you still. Peek or study Mandarin? No. When on occasion, you know, the honest, I would love to do it more, you know, I think it would be cool if I could figure out a way to really combine that with my, with my career path and on occasional habit, there was actually, you know, more people that spoke Chinese when I went off to law school and doing, um, LLMs and different things with law degrees than I did when I was in Utah. So I had more of a chance to do it. Um, you know, just as kind of conversational to do it when I was in Ohio than I wasn't new to. Since then I just haven't had as much of a chance. I, I wish I could figure out a way to put that square peg in a round hole and incorporated, but on occasion, but not as much as I'd like to. There you go. I know my daughter actually is. Pursuing somewhat of now she's in eighth grade, but she's pursuing somewhat of a similar path. You're doing it at least in thinking about law and Chinese, she's been taking Chinese, loves it. And it has in her mind, she's got to become an attorney and use her Chinese and some kind of use practicing laws. I'm like, yeah, that's great. She loves Chinese anyway. So, uh, that's uh, a lot of fun for her. All right. Well, that's good. Then you came to case Western. You've been, uh, obviously, as I said, uh, here in Ohio, understand our winners, beautiful old campus, uh, great place. Um, and, uh, yeah, so I was going to ask if you kind of originally planned on boats, but as you just kinda answered earlier, kind of like. Didn't didn't choose, or I should say you chose not to emit one or the. Yeah. I mean, I think I, it was a conscious choice. I mean, when I was applying for law school and MBA school, I was looking for schools that were offered both programs that had good or decent programs in both. And that would match with our one. So I was thinking, you know, probably coming out of undergraduate, I had to make that decision what I wanted to do. But by the time I was applying, I saying, Hey, I decided I'm not going to feel like a happy box in and just do one or the other, which is kind of what it feels like with the. Schooling and career paths and you go into school and they say, pick a major, and that's what you're gonna do for the rest of your life. And then I said, well, you know, I want to do things with my life. I want to be successful, but I don't want to just have to pick one thing. So it was kind of one of those that by, or by the time I was making her going off to graduate school, I had pretty well made that decision. Right, right. Uh, so now let's flash forward to today. So you have Miller IP law, um, and. Uh, you're helping startups, entrepreneurs, PR tech, their inventions and brands. Um, walk me through maybe the differences between why I would need a patent versus a trademark or copyright. I always get a little confused maybe on the trademark and copyright thing, but I, I may have them, but I'll let you, uh, counselor kind of steer us on the right path. Yeah, absolutely. So if you were to think about, first of all, you know, you asked what you need, you know, what, why you might need, and I would say let's, you know, build that foundation of what they actually are because you may or may not need them based on what you do. Um, but you know, if you were to break it down, either their easiest way for me to think about it is a patent goes towards an invention. You create something that has a functionality. It does something, it can be software, it can be hardware, it can be electrical, but it does something that's really what a patent for pets. A trademark is going more towards branding. So if you're to think of a brand, so name of a company, name of a bit. A logo, a product name, a catchphrase, those types of things, anything that's associated with branding falls under trademarks. And then the last one is copyrights. And that one's kind of more on the creative side. So anything that's kind of really more creative in nature. So a book, a sculpture, a painting, a video, a television show, a, you know, any of those kinds of things are going to be on the co under following their copyrights. So that's kind of as a level set as to what they are now, to your question, we don't think. Whether I need them or not that one kind of more falls on there. You know, I always counsel people think about what is the core of your business? What is the reason, or why is your business unique? What is the value of core value of your business? And then you start to say whether or not you need them. As an example, if you're a local, you know, mom and pop shop and nothing against mom and pops out. So I love them, but you know, you're disserving the local communities you've walked around you. You're not really creating, you know, great new or breakthrough inventions. You don't really care as much about a brand in that sense. People around the local area know the you, but they don't, you know, you don't need to have a nationwide brand and not really doing anything for you. You're just thrown in a great restaurant that people come and enjoy or something of that nature. I wouldn't worry about it or any of the intellectual property. That's not the core of your business. You're just serving the local community and doing a great job at it. Let me ask you a question in here. So you're saying about the intellectual property, uh, and kind of in your examples. So maybe I'm a restaurant or something like that. Uh, classify a trademark as intellectual property, or is it a, or is it no, it's not so intellectual property umbrella term and includes patents, trademarks and copyrights. So if you ever hear anybody talking about intellectual property, it could be any of the above. It's just an umbrella term talking about. And if you think about it, the reason why it's an umbrella term is all three of those. Things that aren't physical or tangible. In other words, a brand, you don't, you can't go grab a brand and say, it's something that has value, but it's kind of more intangible, same thing with a patent. You can create a great invention, but you know, to how do you, other than the actual device you make, but all the time, money and effort, research and development, that's not really 10. A lot of the same, the creative kind of how you capture that creativity. So really intellectual property is saying it's property, but it's more intangible, more intellectual. And so that's why all three of them fall under that umbrella. Got it. Got it. All right. Um, that's interesting. Do you think that well, I should, maybe. So as you were kind of talking about, depending on, but what did benefit. Almost any brand that have their trademark. So I would say it would benefit most of the time, as I said, the mom and pop shop, they have a brand, I mean, they're local, you know, just, you know, diners and those types of things that, you know, the name of the restaurant is as a local brand. And yet really, if they're saying I'm not going to, I'm just going to serve the local community. I don't have aspirations to franchise. I'm not going to grow. I just want to run a fun dislocated. Then they're really, you don't need to protect your brand from a trademark. Now you still want to have a good reputation and have your branding for the local community. But as far as the trademark, I wouldn't recommend it on the opposite side. Let's say you want to be the next McDonald's. You want to be the next Wendy's. You want to be the next, you know, pick your favorite restaurant. That's a bigger chain. And then at that sense, yeah, you're going to want to. Have that as a, uh, a trademark and protect your brand because that's a lot of the value. I mean, when you think of McDonald's you hear the name that hasn't associated now, whether or not you like McDonald's food or burgers or whatnot, that's a different discussion, but you know, they certainly have a brand that people know what they sell and what they provide. Same thing with Wendy's same thing with any other place. And so if you're looking to build a. Bigger brand. And you're looking to have multiple locations. You're looking to franchise, you're looking to expand. You're going to be in multiple states, whatever business you're in. Then you're going to say we're building something that's bigger than a local mom and pop shop. Then you're going to want to protect that brand because you're going to, it takes a lot of time and effort to build that or build that brand. You have to do marketing, you have to do sales. They have to do online SEO. You have to be paid advertising. You have to do whatever trade shows, conferences, whatever it might be. That's a lot of work to build that reputation. And what you don't want to do is someone to come along and say, oh, that's a great brand. Thank you for building it. Now I'm going to copy it. And I'm going to ride your coattails. You want to be able to make sure you have a place where you can protect the, um, a couple of different questions and kind of around that. I don't know why I'm stuck on the trademark thing. I think it's a little fascinating. Yeah. So if we were to trademark our brand, would I then always have to have the little superscript T M you know, 38 digital market TM next to it in order to, I don't know, to essentially make it official that it's a trademark to brand. So. To enters to one question you asked when you didn't answer the both of them or no. So one thing to set, set straight is the TM is if you haven't actually registered a trademark TM and just saying, Hey, I think this is trademarkable. I assert some common law rights and very limited rights, but I haven't actually done anything to trademark it myself. So that's where the TM is. Those kinds of things. Because he really doesn't really protect you if you just do the TM. I mean, if somebody else came along and I've been doing for the last, I don't know, the 18 months I've been doing 38 years old market TM, boom. And then all of a sudden somebody comes along and Iowa and they start doing 38 digital market TM and, or, you know, or they say, Hey, we're just going to claim that brand. Where are you going to go trademark that brand now? Uh, w w what recourse do I have? So, yeah, there's like 20 questions and they try and dive into as many as I can. Um, Does it offer protection? Well, yes. To a degree, but not very much. So really what I worry about at putting the TM or the little art? No. Now the reason why you see the reason why you put it in, it gives people notice. So now they can say, Hey, let's say you were the first one. And they came along and saw your brain. They can't say, well, I didn't know that you thought that was trademarkable. I didn't know that you thought that was part of your brand because you're at least putting the TM or the R and in the army, it's a registered trademark. You have gone through the process. That's why you see the R versus the TM. Um, but either way, it kind of provides that notice. Hey, I have a brand, I have a reputation that I built and I put in a lot of time, money and effort to build this. If you infringe us, you should know that I believe this is my brand, and I'm going to go in and force it. Kind of get conveys that now. It gives it the only time that really plays it and have to go sit with someone and you're trying to get damages. It can increase or decrease if they don't, if they are, I have noticed they can, um, you can get a bit more damages or a bit more compensation, but it doesn't give you more like, Hey, if I go stick a TM next to something, or I sick. You know, it doesn't necessarily give you more legal rights. It doesn't mean your brand is more or less. Okay. All right. Um, now, uh, so then if somebody is using that TM, just in the way that you've kind of described it, uh, or the R uh, meaning the registered trademark then, um, did they have to use it all the time? Anytime that the name of the brand is mentioned, so. Um, it might possibly be on the logo, say maybe on their website. Um, but in an article maybe where it says, uh, I dunno where we might be writing an article about, um, uh, Google, my business profiles and how to optimize it and blah, blah, blah, and 38 digital market says this a lot. And it's just within the context of an article. Do I have always. Always put either the TM or the art or as the light, you know, now only on the brand, on the logo, do you really have to worry about it everywhere else? You know, it's kinda like it's a pain and kind of difficult to do a lot of times. Yeah. I mean, there is, there is no requirement that you have to put it in. So if I were saying, Hey, I don't want to put anywhere, but I wouldn't. Now I usually would take some sort of a balanced approach. Now, if I'm, I don't think you need to go and put it on every piece of marketing material every time you ever use your logo or use the name of the company. That's probably a bit overkill where I would do it as if it was, if there are places that are viewable. On your website, you know, you can, everywhere come. Everybody comes to your website. It's a key identifier of your brand. Then I might put it there just to give an indication, Hey, this is trademark, and you might put it on some of your most valuable material. Let me know, put an R there if you haven't registered. But as far as the day to day and every material, no, I wouldn't worry about it. I put it on the things that are. Uh, they are most viewable to the public or most folks pull the public for your brand. And then the rest of it. I probably generally wouldn't worry about now that's a general, that's a general answer. So everybody don't take that as gospel depends on your situation, but that's how I would typically approach it. That's interesting. So now, if I wanted to go through the process, so I think you talking about, you know, the, the, a lengthy process. Building your brand and the effort and time and money involved in that. How difficult is it to get a trademark to do a registered trademark? Yeah, that one, it depends on how good or how good of a trademark or trying to register. In other words, the way that trademarks generally work is there's a couple, there's a few sentences, but there's two primary standards for trademarks. One in the main one is whether or not it's confusingly similar with what sort of. And other words now, what does that, that means if you want it to go start a smartphone company and you wanted to name the company, or if you wanted to have a company with the spelling, a P D L L. You think that people might confuse that with the smartphone company that makes I-phones of same apple will probably because yes, it's a different spelling, but it's very confusingly. Similar people are gonna look at that. Think that you have some associations, some tie with apple iPhone. And so when you're, whether or not you're going to go through the process, easy and audit, are you trying to go get the weird spelling of apple and doing for smartphones? You're going to have a very hard time or the something that's unique and that's different than. It isn't out there. At least it nobody's using it for your kind of products or your services, then you have a better time. So it's kind of that balance of, are you trying to get a trademark for something that's already out there that would cause confusion in the marketplace? Or you have something that you, this unique with your brand that hasn't been out there. So that's kind of your main stance. The one other standard that you typically look at is when you're looking for trademarks is also, isn't merely descriptive. In other words are, if you were to go and you're to start a, a fruit stand and you're going to sell the world's best apples, and now you want to name your food, sand, apples. Well, are people really gonna think that's your brand? Are they just going to think that that's approved, that you're selling? They're really not going to think that's part of your brand. They're just thinking that's a fruit you're selling. And so merely the script is that if your trademark is really just kind of describing when your product is describing what your services are, really doesn't have anything to identify your brand. Then you're going to have a difficult time. If you meet those two standards, you're not are confusing. You're confusing with what's already out there and you're not merely descriptive. Then you're going to have a much better path forward. If on the other hand, you try and go get apple, then you do a smartphone. You're going to have a very hard, is it a lengthy process? So I'm imagining there's several forms or maybe one form, but I'm sure there's something we have to do and provide for consideration. Once it goes to whatever. Office. I don't know. Is it go to the patent of, I don't know where it goes from that, but does it, is it like a month, uh, 18 months. What's uh, what's that press. If I could get them in a month, that would be awesome. No, I mean, so if you were to say a trademark generally, to get through the full process, so go through an attorney, go through the process, get the information, um, get the application, prepare, reviewed, drafted. So once you, that usually takes on average for a given from anywhere. Us. We're usually about one to two weeks. Other firms are about three to four weeks. So I'd planned somewhere depending on the, from anywhere from a couple of weeks, about a month, um, to get through that preparation process. And then once you find that. You're usually looking somewhere between seven to nine months to go through the process. Hands-on how unique you are, how trademarkable it is. If you, you can go longer. If you're having to argue and fight and battle a lot more back and forth with the trademark office, if it's pretty unique and you know, different than what's out there, it can go smell and sales are a lot more smoothly for you. And it might be five or six months, but I'd planned on seven to nine months. It's kind of a general timeframe. Okay. All right. So it is a bit of a process. So let's talk a quick. Patent. So, uh, which I think is very interesting as well that I know can be. Well, from what I know of patents, there's different types of patents, as well as the process can be quite lengthy as well, depending upon, uh, the type of patent that you're filing for. I don't know, walk us through in general terms, patents, and, uh, how could, how could you, if I had just something that was incredible, that I thought I need to own this and control this, walk me through what that process. Yeah. And I would say the first thing is to whether or not you can get a patent kind of like what I walked through with trademarks is what are the standards for whether or not you can actually pack something. So there are basically a couple of primary standards that you're going to be looking at as to whether or not something is patentable. So let's cause you know what I, a lot of times I'll have people come and say, I got this great idea. It's a wonderful invention. It's going to change the world and make millions of dollars. Well, that's great. Well, let's, let's see if it actually meets those standards of patentability as to whether or not you should be having us do some work or just go out and build it. You're building the marketplace and don't worry about a patents. Standards for a patent. So the first one is called novelty. The second one's called obviousness. So novelty basically means has anybody else previously already created, but so they already invented. If it's already been vented, guess what? You can't get a patent on something that's already been invented. Somebody else already invented it. You weren't the first one in. Well, that's kind of that first standard, the second standard saying, they're going to say, okay, well, not one person invented it, but if you were to go out in the marketplace and you were to combine a couple of things that are already readily out in the marketplace, all you're doing is putting them together. And obviously you're not adding anything new or different or unique. You're just putting a couple things together already out there. Again, you can't get a patent on that. That's kind of the standards for whether something is Pattonville. Does anybody else previously invented it and nobody else has premium invented that check. You can meet that standard if it's isn't an obvious combination of what's already out there, or is it something unique that is different or what's. But it's an obvious combination. If fail, if it's something that you can combine things, but if it's a non-obvious, you have to put something in unique and inventive in there, then check. So with that. Now, if you're saying, okay, I, I think I meet those generally meet those standards. I'm, you know, I'm novel and not obvious. And I, you know, I I'd like to move forward then the process, usually it's about kind of like a set of the trademark here at about four to five weeks to get a patent application prepared. So it does take some time. Tony has to go make drawings and have to make, or get some dry. They have to write up all of your description. And usually you're going to. Man, this is like, I thought this would be a page or two. I could write this up and I've turned it. I'll go turn this into 20 or 30 pages. We'll ask because you want to make sure you cover all the details and all the depth and every possible way of doing it. So you get as much coverage, then you go through and you're violent. Then you get the joy of waiting on the government for about 12 to 18 months where it just sits there and works its way to the top of the queue because they're slow or are all there. So most things including examining patents. So it takes about 12 to 18 months. You get to the top of the. Then they go through and examine every, or examine your patent for those two standards. Novelty pockets. And then you either go through and they say, yep, it's patentable. Or they say, Nope, not patentable. And then you get to argue with them and you either argue and convince them, or you argue and you say, okay, we haven't convinced them we'll move on and do something else. So that's kind of a very quick run through of the, of the patent process and what you're looking at. Oh my gosh, you need to have an attorney help you. Uh, Now for my, and maybe I might be wrong about this, but do they have, I don't know how to describe it, but maybe like a, uh, uh, pre, uh, we'll call it that or a notice maybe that or intent, maybe that's the word I want to use in. To file a patent or an intent to file a trademark that I could register, even though I don't have all of this other stuff pulled together yet. Um, but I I'm like I'm intending to file a patent on this thing kind of, um, so two different areas. So I'll start on the patent just cause that's where it left off. So the process I just walk you through is to go through the full examination process. What you get with that? A lot of companies are saying, well, we're doing a lot of research development. We think this is a cool idea. We'd like to have it protected, but we're also not in the marketplace and we're not know how well it's going to sell. We don't know how, whether or not it's worthwhile investing in it. So do we really want to go and invest all this money and go through the full patent process when we don't even know what the business is going to be successful? And so with that, what the patent office basically or provides is what's called a provisional patent application. Provisional. It is provisional. And the reason is it's kind of what it does is it's a little, it's less expensive. Um, it's informal. So you're drawing some have to be as formal. Some of the description doesn't have to be as formal, but what it does is it gets the details of your invention and it gives you a year to decide whether or not you want to go for the full pap application. So if you want to do, what's called a provisional, it gives you one year. From the time you file it to say, Hey, I'm going to go test it out in the marketplace. You're going to see what people are going to buy this. If they like it is my company, going to bells are going to be a raving success. And you know, at the end of that year, I can decide, Hey, I want to go for that full patent application or, Hey, it's not worth it. I've been work out and I'll just let it go back then. That's on the patent side. Provisional application. Got it. Trademarked. Oh, go ahead. No, I was just going to ask you about trademark. Do they have something similar? So trademarks kind of, not as, not as readily. So when you it's basically the exact same process for a trademark, the only difference is when you file a trademark application, you basically get an, you know, or an attorney, a ride recommend, but you check the box, so to speak and slightly more complicated that you check a box. Hey, I am currently using this in the marketplace. In other words, I'm already out there. I'm already selling things with this brand. I'm already doing things in commerce. I already have a website or already have a storefront, or however you're selling your products or providing your services. That's using commerce when you file it and you say, yep, I've already used. Alternatively when you file it, same process, same costs, everything else. But you can also say, Nope, I'm not using it yet, but I'm working on getting ready to use it. So I'm going to do, what's called prior intend to use it means I intend to use it. And so then you file it. You still get the goal through the same process. You still set aside, you get your data when you filed for the trademark. So you're setting aside. Priority. And then you go through the process and then at the end of it, they basically say, okay, assuming they say it's trademarkable, then they say, okay, now we're at the end of it. Are you using it yet? You can then say, yep. I started using it and here's the evidence I started using it or say, well, I'm not quite using it yet, but I still intend to use it. And then you can file for six month extensions for up to a couple more years, as you're preparing to use it. Whereas a patent application, you can do a less expensive kind of one-year placeholder. It's kind of that's on the front end on the trademark. It's more on the backend where you have to do all the same process upfront, but then you can file extensions until you start to use a, got it. Wow. You know, I love how you're, you're just like my attorney, you know, it's hard to like nail him down, you know? Exactly. Because he doesn't want to be, you know, held to the exact phrase. There's a lot more. Kind of, yeah, that's a good attorney. There we go. Um, so let me ask you on, if I have a patent on something, do I have to always tweak the patent or updated, I guess maybe as if, as I would potentially update my product, um, or do you go through a whole nother filing press? So you want me to reiterate the scenario? You're saying, okay, I've got, came up with this great idea or changing idea. I filed my original patent. Yeah, I'm good. Right. But now I do something different, a little bit with my product. I updated, I don't know. I do something. I, maybe I add something to it again. Uh, do I just file an amendment to my patent or do I go and I like do a whole new patent, I guess maybe I'll let you answer. I think I probably want. Rattling it off in my mind already. And I think it's a, it's a fair question because you know, w a lot of times you don't want you to create a great invention. Don't stop innovating on it. You know, you're gonna look at the iPhone. I don't know. 13 now I think it's 13. Um, I'm actually an Android guy, so my wife's the iPad person. Um, but you know, you have the iPhone 13, it's different than the iPhone. One, like the very first iPhone that come out versus what's now screens different, got more cameras, got more sensors, more battery life. The list goes on and on better internet, you know, faster and everything. Well, those are all iterations that came along after the original iPhone. And so, you know, did the apple simply stopped getting patented? I said, yep. We got the patent on the original one. We don't care about all those air, all that RD and time, money and development in research and all those new innovations we have. Of course they're going to want to protect them. So then the question becomes, there's a couple of different strategies. If you're doing kind of a. Small update or iteration in the patent application hasn't been issued yet. In other words, the original patent is still filed. It's still going through the process. Then there are some avenues that you can add in additional information. The only thing the caveat is, anytime you add a new information, you start to get two different dates of invention. In other words, you're saying, Hey, for all that original information, you filed it on this date. That's when you invented. Well, the Slater information just added, you get, add that. So, you know, you get these kinds of dual, a dual dates or benches that you have the information along. The other alternative it is, as you say, you know, let's say your patent issue. So you file it, go through the process. Two years later, you have Eureka moment. Here's my generation, too, for the product that's going to be twice as good. Then you're going to file a new patent application. So generally. And within a given window, you can sometimes add a bit to the patent. There's some avenues there. Most of the time, you're going to just be filing additional patents to build on that or that portfolio or that thing that it's all right. All right. Well, all the more reason is you just walk through all of that. Why, if you're considering you should probably consult an attorney. If somebody wanted to get ahold of you, Devin, how would they do it? Yeah, so I'll give them, I'll give you a three different ways of people want to get ahold of me. So if they want to do so, we offer a one-on-one strategy meeting because as you can tell, by listening to this podcast, if you haven't already fallen asleep out yet, which hopefully you haven't, it can get complicated and it does vary by each business. And so it's hard to give a generic answer that fits every business. So rather than do that, we do a one-on-one strategy meeting where we sit down and we talk through what you have going on. Strategize, whether or not you need a patent or trademark, if you do, or if you don't, we'll give you an honest answer and we'll talk to that. So if they want to grab a one-on-one meeting, they can go to strategy. meeting.com like links, right to my calendar. Grab some time with me to chat. Um, couple other ways. If they just want to go to our website, they want to find out we've got a ton of material. We have a podcast, we have videos. We have logs. We have audio. We have just about every way that you can learn or consuming or content we have in there. Um, they can go to law with miller.com that goes right to our main website. And then you can check out our prices or fees or content and everything else. The last one that I'll give is I'm. I don't get on a lot of socials, but I do like LinkedIn. I think that's a great, a good platform for businesses. So they want to check me out on LinkedIn. They can go to meet miller.com and that links right to my LinkedIn profile. One-on-one strategy meeting. Got a strategy meeting.com for our main website. Go to law with miller.com. They want to connect with me on LinkedIn. Go to meet miller.com. There we go. All right. All kinds of great ways to, uh, uh, tap into your knowledge and expertise. All right. Do you like baseball? I'd like to, I never been a big player baseball, but I like to go to the stadium and get some popcorn or cracker jacks. They're like to get the food and I like to watch the innings and then I'd do it. So, unfortunately we don't have a professional team here in Utah, so I only get to watch the minor league most time, but I do enjoy. Or watching baseball and occasionally hitting the ball. All right. I love it. Well, it's that time? It is time for what we call the 17 Eastern standard. And this is the fun part where we. Gone through a little bit of research, try to think about your particular niche and, you know, try to pull something out of the hat here that might, uh, uh, I don't know, test your knowledge a little bit about baseball and about your expertise. Um, here's a real, uh, throw out question. So in the MLB major league baseball, you know, Every individual team owns, uh, the trademark, um, uh, for their team names and logo. They still have to get them licensed through MLB in MLB trademarks though. Do you have any idea how many there are? I don't I'd have, I'd have to think about how we can, so each team has them. So we'll go with, I'm rounding it up. Cause like I kind of have guessing we'll go with. 40 teams, 50 teams, 40 we'll go 40 teams. So we'll say trademarks. They have one trademark for their logo. They have another for their word and they probably have the, there are some that are tied to the national baseball association. I'm going to go with. 200. Wow. You know, you were, uh, there aren't 40 teams are not 40 teams in baseball, but by golly, you're pretty darn close to hundred and seven. Uh, yeah, no kidding. That's uh, that's good stuff. Uh, so that's not too bad. That's a good, a swing and a hit right there, baby. Uh, so. Interesting. So you've got some Ohio ties here. Um, uh, I'm not sure if you're familiar, the Cleveland. Uh, formerly the Cleveland Indians announced they were changing their names to the Cleveland guardians. Now this amazed me and I've had several conversations with people like, well, didn't, they know there was already a Cleveland guardians, um, professional or semi-professional team in Cleveland already. That was, uh, a, uh, I think there are a roller Derby. Now. I haven't been to a roller Derby match in a long time. But, uh, yeah. And so this just recently was settled. If you were the attorney for, I don't know, on either side of that, maybe the more interesting would be if you were the attorney for the roller Derby, Cleveland guardians, and then all of a sudden you hear it comes to Cleveland and he's now I'm sure it was not a surprise that they, I can't imagine. They would have just said, Hey, we're going to be the guardians and not reach out to these other guardians that just, I don't know. The whole thing just seemed crazy to me. I don't know if you're familiar with the story at all, or yeah, at least familiar with it. I would have advised them to pick a different name. It's a short answer. I mean, unless you, unless you had a good relationship and you already knew going into it, that they were going to license it, or you were otherwise not going to have any issues. If I were going into and saying, there's another team that does in professional sports that are already have this name and already have that, or build a brand, even though they're not as big as. And I'd tell them to go or go get another name. And if not, you better get ready to spend a lot of money and let's make sure we have the most money so we can go and spend the other con or other, uh, other team into the ground because otherwise it would just, it was, it wasn't a good idea. And I really don't know exactly how w how it led up. However, there was a great article in the, uh, the New York times about this, um, earlier in, uh, Well, the end of October, I guess it was, I'm looking at it here. And it says, uh, in the lawsuit, the roller Derby team said it was inconceivable that an organization where it's more than a billion dollars in estimated to have annual revenues of 290 million would not have at least performed a Google search for Cleveland guardians before settling on the name and then their lead attorney, you will love this. And, uh, this is a quote from him. They said that the baseball team knowingly and willfully, this is a great word. Eviscerated. That's such a great lawyer term, right? W eviscerated the rights of the original owner of that name, the real Cleveland guardians. That's all good attorney posturing. Yeah, no, I I'm right there with ya. I think that either one or two things happen, the law firm just completely dropped the ball. So I'm sure they have a law firm on retainer and they just said, we're fine. We don't have to worry about it. Or the team has said, Hey, we don't care. We like the name. We're going to steamroll over them. Not the best strategy, but apparently that's the one that they decided that they were going to take. Oh man. I dunno. So it has settled. So I think that just was announced maybe early this week or last week, but it has settled anyway, they came to terms and uh, so now Cleveland. Guardians could officially, they changed the sign out, um, in here, uh, on the stadium just a few days ago. So anyway, I, the whole thing I thought was crazy, but, uh, all right, well, let's get back into it. And here we go. Um, so I want to ask you, so you were working with some larger firms and then you decided to go out on your own, uh, And you were doing some, I'm assuming interesting lawyer stuff, working with Amazon and Fords on some of their stuff in, in these previous firms. Why did you make the switch? Why did you decide? You know, I like being an IP attorney, but I want to do it under my own. Yeah. I mean, you're right. I mean, if I were to just look and say, Hey, do I want to work with some big names? Everybody knows, you know, notoriety, Hey, I, I can go say I did work on the, you know, the Amazon, some of their products that are out here, or I can go say, Hey, I worked on somebody out here. Or worked on some afforded their things. Yeah. That, that, that has kind of that cache, you know, it is a good career builder. Um, on the other hand, you know, I looked at it and kind of, it almost goes back to the discussion of when I was in college and saying, I love entrepreneurship. And I loved the law. And I was saying, when I got into far enough into my career, I was really saying, what are the types of clients or individuals I like to work with? And it really kind of, as I, you know, as, as I got far enough from the rear and has some experience, and I was kind of reflect on that, a lot of it was saying, Hey, I really. The startups and the small businesses. It's not that there's cache, nobody knows their name, but boy, are they fun to work with? They have some of the more fun ideas. And again, it almost goes back. You know, when I'm working with the Amazon, the Intel, they have a lot of patents. They didn't have a lot of attorneys working on thinking you're a small cog in a big wheel and you work on a very, my new portion of a bit, much bigger ecosystem of inventions. Whereas when you work on a startup and small business, They're shooting for the moon. They're going for it. It's just fun. You get to be a lot more impactful and have a lot more strategy. And so it kind of, as I was doing all that, I said, well, those are the clients that I want. Then the big law firm just isn't for me, they're not set up for that. That's not what they do. And so as I kind of came to that realization, that's when I said, okay, then I'm wondering if I'm going to go after those types of clients and it's not going to feel this, these types of law. Why not, I just go do my own thing. Then I can set it up the way that I want to do it. And that was kind of the other overplay. So what I wanted to choose my own clients too, I wanted to just be able to do my own thing. I wanted to capture my ship and to pay it. If I want to go try this new project, I want to try this new plan or this new idea. It may be a great idea and it might be a horrible. I'm in a law firm, you get a new decision by committee, by committee, by committee. Whereas if I own the law firm, guess what? I can decide on something today and we start implementing it this afternoon. Yeah. Yeah. And then now all of a sudden, boom, you were a small business, right? So now, you know, not only are you practicing law and helping your clients, but you are also concerned, how do I grow my business? How do I attract clients? So, um, You know, often I know I have this conversation with my daughter who says she wants to be an attorney. I'm like, well, you realize that, uh, if you wanted to do your own practice, you're really are running your own business. And w what do you think of that? Are you interested in that at all? And, uh, Yeah, she's still contemplating that, I think. But, um, so for you, what have been some of the challenges that you've had to face? What have you done, I guess, uh, in regards to those challenges to overcome them? Yeah. I mean, I think with every startup and small business, they're, you always are dealing with that, I think is, or how many challenges are you dealing with at any given time? Not whether or not you're dealing with the challenge because you're always dealing with things. Varying degrees of, you know, what are the kinds of challenges, but, you know, for me, it was one is, you know, how do you get. A reputation and a brand and something up and going, which is, you know, on the front end, you know, there are other IP I worked for other IP firms. And so I had to figure out what my niche was, how was I going to separate myself? And that was everything from, Hey, we're going to niche down and do startups and small businesses. Most law firms, they like the big, our big clients because they're notoriety. They have a lot of reoccurring billing. They're set up for it and that's what they want to do. So I had to figure that that niche, and then I had. Hey, do I like the way other law firms do X, Y, and Z, but like law firm what's one of my favorite pastimes is to go to law firm websites and find the ones that I think are the worst. And there's a lot of bad ones out there just because they do not, they look pretty and they nothing else other than look pretty. And so, you know, those types of things, it was really finding the niche. And so finding out how I'm going to separate myself within it. A reasonably crowded marketplace on the sensor, a lot of law firms out there that do intellectual property. And so I think that was probably one of the struggles. And then as that kind of settled down, it was now, how do you grow? In other words? Okay. I've got myself, I've got a paralegal now. Hey, I can't do all everything. How do I bring someone else on, how do I bring to people? How do I systematize where I knew how to do everything before, and I had a certain quality standard, how do I make sure that quality standard goes through? So it's kind of that, how do I get established? How do I build something? And then how do I grow it? I think that's pretty similar with most companies as you get going. And as you figure things out well, good for you. Obviously you're, you're moving forward and, uh, you're doing a lot of other things. Evidently, and I'm not sure, I don't know my research team didn't list with these artists, but you've got other businesses as well that you're involved with to one degree or another. I don't know. You want to talk about any of those? I don't even know what they are. They're just like three businesses. So I'm like, okay, great. Yeah. And now you've made the Cardinal mistake of it. You know, they always tell an attorney, don't ask a question. You don't already know the answer to, so how you get open wide open. So, no, um, you know, one of the businesses I started was all the way back when I was doing my MBA and law degree at the same time. And it was, you know, the server version. Um, is, it was a wearable for monitoring hydration. In other words, it's for athletes, it was for, um, you know, military uses that had several different uses across the board for elderly population and other, and started that. And that one's grown. It's still, they're still up and going today, ended up doing a merger with another company that was in the diabetes monitoring, uh, realm, a lot of the technology that we've developed overlapped really well. So that's one of them, very wearable diet. You have a patent for that, for that. Short answer all. We have a lot of patents by now, the very first patent that I was writing there while I was still in law school. So I was a law clerk, but I was doing it for my own invention, um, was for that or for that company. So that was the, I'd done other work with the first patent I'd written from start to finish and done on my own was for that kind of business. And so yeah, that one has a portfolio. I think it's a hundred or close to a hundred now of various different path. Oh my gosh. Let's put yourself to work, right. You just hire yourself out. Uh, yeah. So that was one, another one I've done a small religious products company. It's kind of just, it's not a huge company. It's a few thousand dollars a year, but the thing is, it's probably my favorite business. Not because it makes the most, but because I get to hire my kids in order to come work with my son comes in a couple of times a week. He's 11 years old. He goes. Yeah, it's its own little tiny office. It's really a closet that we converted into an office, but he gets to come, he gets earned money. He gets to learn how to work and he gets to come in and see dad work. And so that, one's another one that I've done. That's just been a fun one. Um, I've done a, that was still going. Another one that's still going, you know, Product development company. It's called mountain green engineering, kind of coincides with, we do a lot of the legal stuff and we also help with product development as well. Um, so that's a different company. And then I've got a couple of companies that we're going to be launching here in, uh, in about three or four months. So plenty of things to keep me busy. And I always liked to always, uh, my hobbies are startups, incredible, a hobby that you have yeah. Start up businesses. Uh, and I understand you have a podcast. I do. Yeah. So it's nothing, I didn't have enough going. I love to love to talk with startups and small businesses, however I can. So we have the inventive journey. We're actually expanding into six podcasts. And so that's a whole nother discussion, but it's kind of along the same or same journey, but just to kind of expanding it and hearing more about that journey, but it's the inventive journey pod. Um, it is kind of following the inventors, startups, small businesses, how they got to where they're at to date. So we kind of start, we go all the way back to high school or college and talk or capture the whole journey. We don't just let you jump to there. When you know, you're the overnight success. You have to tell us how you're the overnight success, 20 years in the making, but we get a, it's a fun kind of walk through all of their journey. And if you go to any of the, any of the podcast platforms and look for the inventive journey, that's another fun or fun thing that I love. Alright, that sounds very fun. Uh, yeah. So, um, and I understand now this, my research team did pull this together. You're also a car guy and you've got, uh, I think one that I would love, which is a 79 Volkswagen bus is out. Right. You still have that. Yeah, so I have to, so you hit on the one. So the first one I ever did was the muscle car. So when I was 15 and in high school, um, me and my dad restored a 67 Camaro. So that one's the one that, and I still have it in the garage. My wife tells me I should drive it more. I drive it up when it's a nice day in the summer, but it's a fun car and it's on the muscle for our side. Then when I had the family and I had kids and I'm saying, well, muscle cars, probably not a family vehicle, but I want to do something kind of as a fun vehicle. That's memorable. So then we did the Volkswagen bus, which is a 79. So one that, you know, kind of the similar to a lot of the ones that Connick wanted to see driving around in the back bench folds down into a band so we can take it off and the kids can sleep in and whatnot. And it's just a fun, they're fun vehicle. I was wondering if it was one of the, the camper, cause they had one that was just. Uh, decked out as a camper, the Volkswagen bus. That's the one that I would love to have. So we didn't go quite to the camper. We made it. So it's kind of in the middle where it has a bed, you can pull down, but it's also one that if you just want to take for a fun drive, you don't feel like you're at a kitchen. So we kind of took the middle, ah, super fun. All right. So you have so many different things, kind of in the burner, uh, working and bubbling, you got a lot of different businesses. What do you see though? Around the corner for Miller IP? Oh, you know, that's all these questions seem that they should be easy. And then I was like, wow, there's a lot of things. So, no, I mean, some of the things that we do, one of the things that has been an exciting and fundraising thing is we've got it. Or we've, we're always looking to help startups and small businesses. And so we've done DIY legal products. Now I understand there's legal zoom out. If you want to get me on a tangent, you could ask me what I think of legals, but they are a product that serves a niche, but we do something that's a lot better. So we've rolled out the legal products. We also focus a high degree on automations. We've actually went through one iteration of our automation systems. We're going through a second. Before everybody gets it in the mind that this is the automation where you dial the customer service and you have to dial 20 different numbers to get to the wrong person, to get transferred twice. I look at it as just the opposite, which is we are looking to automate things so that we can have greater customer service and greater touch points. So we're freeing up time so that you, when you give us an Eaton or shoot us an email, we email we'll be back within a very short amount. We return all your calls. We are have texting, we have other systems, so you can reach out to us. And so automation has been a huge thing for us. It's one thing that the legal industry is just really lagged behind and gives us an ability to scale, to compete and be a smaller size firm, and yet have a much bigger impact. Automation legal or DIY legal services. Um, we have a couple of things that we haven't rolled out yet, so I'll hold off and we'll have to circle back. So they chat about those. But yeah, I think that those are some of the fun things we're doing right now. Okay. It's stuff. All right. Well, you're a busy guy. Uh, here we are Devon. We're down to the bottom of the ninth. What advice do you have for rookies in the game? You know, all of these business guys who are thinking they want to start their own business, or maybe they're in their business, early stages, what kind of advice do you have for them? Yeah, so I would say buckle in and get ready. Now I'll expand on that slightly because you know, the analogy I always used to do, and then I sold someone else's analogy, but I thought it was better. Was the analogy you always hear as, you know, Startup or small businesses, like your role as the ups and the downs and you know, kind of up and down and up and down. And that's what it's like. And then, you know, you, you see that use that analogy. And then somebody else said, you know, it's not really like the roller coaster. It's like the whole thing park. You know, you get it in the theme park, you get excited, you got something new. You're going to go in and have a great time. That's like starting the business. And then you get into the theme park and you, you know, you go on that first ride and it's fun and exhilarating. And you get bumped around a little bit, and then you go on a second, right? And then he gets sick and you have to take a break and you have to slow down and you have to re-engage and then you go on the bumper cards and get banged around a whole bunch. And then you go have some food that, you know, re reinvigorates you, and then you go to the end of the day. And that was, to me, it was okay. Yeah, that is true. Is much more like the whole thing parked. You know, you got rollercoasters, you got bumper cards, you get sick, you have the highs, it's fun, exhilarating, and all of those in between. And so with that, I would say, you know, buckle up. It's going to be like a theme park. It's going to be a lot of fun times. It's going to be a lot of hard times. But I think that if you can go in with that anticipate. It's going to be hard. It's going to be like a theme park online. This will be prepared and ready. That's about as good a preparations as you can go into at the start-up these everything else is just going to have to figure out along the way. I love that analogy. Like a theme park. It's absolutely. It's more than just a roller coaster. It's everything. And the cotton candy vendor event. Right? All of the fun work. Yummy. Uh, that's great. Listen, Devin, thank you so much for being on the show. It's been a lot of fun getting to know you and hearing about all of the crazy things you're involved with Mike Ash. I don't even know how you had time to have kids let alone sleep or anything else, but, uh, you're a busy guy, so I appreciate the. Absolutely. I had a blast. It was fun to be on and appreciate you having me. All right. All right. Well folks, that's the ball game. So thanks for joining us today. And if you liked our show, please tell your friends, subscribe and review, and we'll see around the ballpark. Running the basis with small businesses is brought to you by 38 digital markets. 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