Want Money Got Money with Sam Kamani

10: Protecting your startup's IP with guest - Devin Miller

August 18, 2020
Want Money Got Money with Sam Kamani
10: Protecting your startup's IP with guest - Devin Miller
Chapters
Want Money Got Money with Sam Kamani
10: Protecting your startup's IP with guest - Devin Miller
Aug 18, 2020

Today I am interviewing Devin Miller, who is an entrepreneur, founder and owns his own law firm in 🇺🇸Utah, USA
His law firm specialises in helping startups protect their Intellectual property. In this episode he shares why and when you should look at protecting your IP and what you should protect in an early stage startup.

Key lessons from this episode:-
- Find out where the value is generated in your business - protect that.
- Don't wait for years to protect your intellectual property.

Links from the episode:-
https://www.linkedin.com/in/milleripl/
meetdevin.com
https://milleripl.com/

Book recommendations:
EntreLeadership -
https://www.amazon.com/EntreLeadership-Practical-Business-Wisdom-Trenches/dp/1451617852
That will never work -
https://www.amazon.com/That-Will-Never-Work-audiobook/dp/B07X7JH5ZH/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1IEPG5CWRRKNA&dchild=1&keywords=that+will+never+work+marc+randolph&qid=1597219611&s=books&sprefix=that+will+ne%2Cstripbooks-intl-ship%2C355&sr=1-1

Podcast recommendations:
https://milleripl.com/blogs/inventive-journey

If you enjoyed this episode then please subscribe, I will be interviewing other successful founders and investors to provide you a shortcut to success.

Show Notes Transcript

Today I am interviewing Devin Miller, who is an entrepreneur, founder and owns his own law firm in 🇺🇸Utah, USA
His law firm specialises in helping startups protect their Intellectual property. In this episode he shares why and when you should look at protecting your IP and what you should protect in an early stage startup.

Key lessons from this episode:-
- Find out where the value is generated in your business - protect that.
- Don't wait for years to protect your intellectual property.

Links from the episode:-
https://www.linkedin.com/in/milleripl/
meetdevin.com
https://milleripl.com/

Book recommendations:
EntreLeadership -
https://www.amazon.com/EntreLeadership-Practical-Business-Wisdom-Trenches/dp/1451617852
That will never work -
https://www.amazon.com/That-Will-Never-Work-audiobook/dp/B07X7JH5ZH/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1IEPG5CWRRKNA&dchild=1&keywords=that+will+never+work+marc+randolph&qid=1597219611&s=books&sprefix=that+will+ne%2Cstripbooks-intl-ship%2C355&sr=1-1

Podcast recommendations:
https://milleripl.com/blogs/inventive-journey

If you enjoyed this episode then please subscribe, I will be interviewing other successful founders and investors to provide you a shortcut to success.

Devin Miller

Devin Miller: [00:00:00] I would look at if I was a company as to where is the value going to be?

[00:00:03] Cause you, you almost mentioned there's a lot of different companies. And some are very much taken a lot, are technology driven, meaning they have a lot of investment technology and others, or even a dropship company or a brand company or services company. They may be just the opposite. They operate almost totally on brand.

[00:00:20] And that sort of, so I think before you decided whether you go for patents or trademarks, whatever needs you to say, what is the company? Where is the value? Is it the product we're making? Is it the device for selling? Is it the technology we're creating? Is it the brand we're doing? And then. Once you identify which one you do, then that's where you invest your money for intellectual property is based on which one is the most important to protect.

[00:00:41]Sam Kamani: [00:00:41] Hello, dreamers and action takers. Welcome to another episode of one money. Got money. I'm your host, Sam Kamani 

[00:00:50]Today I'm interviewing Devin Miller. Who is an entrepreneur founder and owns his own law firm. His law firm specializes in helping startups protect their intellectual property, their IP. In this episode, he shares why. And when you should look at protecting your IP and what should you protect in an early stage startup? So. 

[00:01:13] Let's get into it.   

[00:01:15] Sam Kamani: [00:01:15] welcome to the show, Devin. it's great to have you, 

[00:01:18]Devin Miller: [00:01:18] well, thank you for having me on I'm excited to be here. 

[00:01:21] Sam Kamani: [00:01:21] So, for some of our audience who sell as an, no, you, can you tell us about what you do? The, what you're up to these days? 

[00:01:29] Devin Miller: [00:01:29] Yeah, and that's a much more loaded question, but I'll try and keep it a real hit a reasonable response.

[00:01:33] So Mo or my primary focus or one of my primary focuses, I'll probably put it as one out because I have a few is a Miller IP law. So that is a firm that I started a couple years ago. It's a patent and trademark law firm. So we really focus on helping startups and small businesses with patents and trademarks.

[00:01:51] So is there a quick summary patents help you protect an invention, trademarks, help you protect a brand? So that's kind of what we do. as a quick background, I have, four degrees as far as education. So I got a degree in electrical engineering, Mandarin, Chinese and MBA master's of business administration, and then a lot degree.

[00:02:09] And then kind of, I also liked to be a bit of an entreprenuer. So I have, started a few bit different businesses. Some of them are still small others. I've grown to seven and eight figure businesses. So that's a very much meta nutshell. But a lot of it is, or a lot of it is also, you can see a Miller IP law where we do a lot of patents and trademarks.

[00:02:27] Sam Kamani: [00:02:27] Yeah. I had a look at your website. Very like super impressive. What I really liked about is that you offer startups where budget is generally really died. You offer them a fixed price and it is, it is so reasonable. I was just so surprised having run and sold my own businesses, where I've owned trademarks, and other, some other IP and having dealt in some Asian countries then, and the U S market 

[00:02:54] it was a lot more expensive than that. So I was like pleasantly surprised to come across your brand and come across your company.  how did you get started in the, in your business?  did you just one day wake up and say, Oh, look, I'm not gonna, after having all these degrees and all this education, I'm not going to vote for someone I'm going to start my own.

[00:03:16] 

[00:03:16]Devin Miller: [00:03:16] Oh, it would honestly depend on which car. So I've always been, I always wanted to be an entrepreneur, at least new businesses and startups always kind of have that desire and degree. So. Early, I'll give you a few answers to what is a simple question? Earliest thing is, so I, ain't got to the end of my first two degrees, which was undergraduate Chinese electrical engineering.

[00:03:36] I kind of hit a crossroads where I had a portion of me that wanted me to go into business. And that was where the MBA come in and I want to do startups and business and that type of thing. And they also really love, law and, you know, patents and trademark. And so a lot for awhile there, I was trying to decide which I wanted to do when I grew up.

[00:03:51] I just decided to do bowl, but one of the first businesses I found that has been a successful one that has grown into the one of the seven or eight bigger ones I mentioned started when I was doing my, the joint degree, that JD MBA. And I entered a business competition with a few other people and we all all entered in first year.

[00:04:08] We take second place. We didn't do pursued any further, but the second year we re-entered as the same group. And I, you know, I came up with the idea and it was for what was the wearable hydration monitor. This is you think of back in the day, this was before the eye or Apple watch or the Fitbit or anything.

[00:04:24] There wasn't any wearables out there, but I liked running. I was into, and I still liked to run into marathons and whatnot. I said, Hey, wouldn't it be cool if you could monitor your hydration level. So we came up with that, entered into the competition. I wanted to continue to pursue it, but we were all graduating, going our separate ways.

[00:04:40] So we actually, I bought them out and continue to pursue that. Now, if you pass forward, that was kind of always my side and hustle or side gig. When I graduated, I did go into law. I went and worked for some of the biggest law firms in the nation. Some of the ones that you do see the big price he got, and you do see that.

[00:04:56] And I got to the point where, you know, I did a lot of company. I worked for a lot of companies, name, brand companies, worked for Amazon and Intel red hat. And a lot of things, you know, did their IP work. And I found that the ones that are I really loved was again, almost as startup and small business. And I also kind of felt that they were underserved.

[00:05:12] So if you were to take, you know, most startups and small businesses, the pricing is going to be difficult. They don't know, understand the process. It's not necessarily very clear and it can be overwhelming. And so I really said, I want you to focus what I do in the legal field, on startups and small businesses.

[00:05:27] And that's when I jumped or jumped where I'm at now was starting my own 

[00:05:30] Sam Kamani: [00:05:30] firm. That is fantastic. Did you, did you need any capital to start your business or, or was it all just cashflow positive from day one? 

[00:05:43] Devin Miller: [00:05:43] Depends on the business. So I'll, I'll just keep it to the two businesses. So we don't go. We don't get too far of the week.

[00:05:48] The one that I, I did with the wearables. So we started, I took a little bit of savings. I had bought out or bought out their other partners and we did it for quite a while for about a year and a half. We worked on the prototype for got it up to speed and we did get to the point that we needed some investors.

[00:06:04] So we brought on an investor. He came on or he came on as a, with, some of the sales and marketing and branding experience. The, we lack, we have a lot of technical experience, but not as much on the sales and marketing. So he offset really well, but he was also a large investor. He was a private individual, but was looking to, to invest some of what he made an exit on a previous company.

[00:06:25] So we brought in that. And then about that are we, then we took that away.  grew it too pretty good company. We're actually ready to getting ready to go for our next round to take the product from prototype into the marketplace. And that time we got married up with another company that was doing wearables, but for diabetes monitoring and we actually pivoted made an agreement with them license, and then they've grown into a much bigger company that I'm still involved with, that it does too.

[00:06:53] Or is. Continually doing or right raises as they continue to take the product to the marketplace. Switching gears on the loss side, that's one where I was able to I'd I'd built up enough relationships, clients and clientele that it was one that I was able to jump in without having to do a fundraise.

[00:07:11] There's one where I was able to be almost cashflow positive, not rich. Don't get me wrong. Was still a lot of work and a lot of ability to build a company. But it was one where I was, I had enough of a foundation as I moved in in the company that was able to do without having to do fundraising. 

[00:07:26] Sam Kamani: [00:07:26] That makes so much sense.

[00:07:27] I have seen this over and over again, that where, if you start a service based company, you can get to cash flow positive, very, very fast. You don't need that initial. capita. However, if it is a product base, you do need a lot more backing and funding and connections and networks, and it is a lot longer play, like it can take years.

[00:07:52]so that makes so much sense. And, Going back into the, under the law side, what are the type of startups they come to you? Are they all hardware based or are a mix, are software and hardware or, 

[00:08:08] Devin Miller: [00:08:08] yeah, so. That's well, so I've got myself and then I've also have a few other attorneys that work for my firm as well.

[00:08:14] So is it generally we see everything from startups, startups have great ideas all across the board. So I've worked with startups. So we're from a boat anchor. I've worked with them that are for. I'm trying to think some more for wallets somewhere four, and then I've got into ones that are much more technical.

[00:08:32] So I worked with some companies that are for augmented reality. I worked with wearables, I worked with medical device companies. So between myself and the other attorneys, we have a pretty, a diversity of experience and background. So we tend to work with a lot of startups and small businesses pretty well across the board of all, you know, everything from mechanical software and electrical myself personally, I've done all of them.

[00:08:55] I probably have a bit more expertise in electrical and software, just cause that was my educational background, but quite a few across the board because there's a, we, we have a pretty diverse experience here. 

[00:09:07] Sam Kamani: [00:09:07] That is, yeah, that is, yeah, quite interesting. you know, the other thing I have often seen is with entrepreneurs and founders and you, and especially people like you who have managed to start multiple startups or businesses of your own is that they are really good at selling or pitching their vision, their ideas, their service, their products, everything, even though they are not necessarily trained as a sales.

[00:09:34] Person. they are really passionate and they're really good at it. how did it like start or what was the first thing that you ever sold? 

[00:09:44] Devin Miller: [00:09:44] Oh, the first thing I ever sold, they're like I did a few things growing up in high school and I'd honestly would have to think back harder cause I always was doing stuff, but I've been, if I were to go really back in time, I eat the first thing I ever created and sold was just a little vending machine that I made that I went around and sold candy to.

[00:10:05] Family members and friends in that school. And that, that was the first thing I sold, but that wasn't really a business as much as it's the very first thing I sold or to get really into. It was really probably the first legitimate startup that I did was when I went to that wearables company. So that was the one that.

[00:10:21] In our, as, before I even graduated, I started, that was one that I had enough confidence enough, and I could see the marketplace, see where it was, what the potential was. That was really the first one that I made a legitimate effort to cultivate, to grow and to build. 

[00:10:38] Sam Kamani: [00:10:38] Oh, fantastic. That, yeah, that gives, quite a few insights into how you think and, and all that.

[00:10:45]bringing that back into like, say, if you were to start now, you know, if you're fresh out of university, school, college, what, what would you say? What, what path would you take? 

[00:10:58] Devin Miller: [00:10:58] You know, now, if I were to say, Hey, let's say I take away everything I had. You know, I'd probably, I'd probably you start in the legal side and it's not necessarily that I don't have much show their interests.

[00:11:09] It's just the one that I probably have the most comfort. So I would say that the one thing that I found in this across all the businesses is the ones that I, first of all understand and passionate about and can add something to are the ones that tend to do the best when, when I've tried other ideas or things that I think, Hey, this is a great idea.

[00:11:27] Not that I'm, I wasn't as passionate about it. And I didn't, I didn't like it as much, but I thought it was a great idea. Those are the ones that tend to struggle because I'm not as excited. I don't have as much to add. And I really can't, even though it may be a great opportunity, I personally don't tend to just get involved as much.

[00:11:42] So I'd probably pick some or, you know, legal is one. And to your point, I am probably, I like to. Have ownership in the company or like to maintain control or ownership. And I don't know if that's being a control fee or just liking to have, you know, equity or how it is, but if are to choose at the Le the nice thing about, as you almost mentioned, this, the services side is you can do that without having to take on a lot of investor dollars.

[00:12:07] And the one thing I'll say as a note or a side note, and I know I'm going all over the place, a little bit of tangent is a one thing that's particularly hard in the legal spill or legal field is most States have rules of ethics where you're not able to have non-attorney ownership in a company. So it does tend to handicap a lot of people that want to start their own firm, because you can't even go out and get investor dollars because they want to have ownership, right?

[00:12:33] They want to have equity controlling the company they're investing in. And yet law firms, the way that the rules of ethics are set up, most States don't even allow you to have investors, unless they're also an attorney. So it makes it very much more difficult, but it also gives you almost a barrier entry that if you know how to navigate it, it makes it so you, if you start your own firm, you have that as a leg up on the competition.

[00:12:57] Oh a hundred 

[00:12:57] Sam Kamani: [00:12:57] percent. I don't mind, I don't mind obstacles because I know that even everyone else is going to face the same thing. And if I can overcome it, it's a massive barrier to entry. It's not like, you know, e-commerce that anyone can just drop ship next day and, and then you have no barriers to entry.

[00:13:15] So it is when you have no barriers to entry, it's just race to the bottom pretty much, just competing on price. So, yeah, it's now coming back onto the, like the, the IP side of it things. I found personally that when I sold my first business that having that trademark and having built that trademark over the 10 years before that, of that branding, advertising, it was highly valuable to have that asset of that trademark to sell.

[00:13:43]what advice do you have for any startup founders, who want to build a, you know, The name for themselves, like a brand name for themselves or what should they do that as the first thing? And yeah. 

[00:13:56] Devin Miller: [00:13:56] Yeah. So, I mean, whether it's patents or trademarks, don't get to trademark specifically in a second, I would look at if I was a company as to where is the value going to be?

[00:14:05] Cause you, you almost mentioned there's a lot of different companies. And some are very much taken a lot, are technology driven, meaning they have a lot of investment technology and others, or even a dropship company or a brand company or services company. They may be just the opposite. They operate almost totally on brand.

[00:14:22] And that sort of, so I think before you decided whether you go for patents or trademarks, whatever needs you to say, what is the company? Where is the value? Is it the product we're making? Is it the device for selling? Is it the technology we're creating? Is it the brand we're doing? And then. Once you identify which one you do, then that's where you invest your money for intellectual property is based on which one is the most important to protect.

[00:14:43] Sometimes they're both. Sometimes you have you think of Apple. Cause I mean, a part of the thing of Apple, they have great technology. They also have done a phenomenal job of branding. So to them they have bolt and yet other other hand. You think of Starbucks, you know, do they really have, maybe they have a little bit better coffee or donuts or muffins or whatnot, but really it's a lot of time.

[00:15:07] Sam Kamani: [00:15:07] Yeah. Yeah. 

[00:15:08] Devin Miller: [00:15:08] But if you were to think of, but why do people know Starbucks is it's because they have a very good brand that a lot of people know or same with M and ms. You know, lots of different types of candy bars. Most of us aren't necessarily proprietary. You know, it's not patented a very good brand that when you walk in the store, do you want the M and M's or do you want the knockoffs or something you haven't heard of you on the M and M's so when I'm looking at which one to how you go about protecting it is identifying.

[00:15:34] Where's the value of your company and then going about protecting it. Because I would say, you know, just to add onto that, there's a couple of motivations for why you protect it. One is to stop. Competitors will give you a competitive advantage. And then another is, it is it's actually an asset of your County.

[00:15:50] So as you mentioned, when you go to exit or if you're to sell off your company, When you go, when somebody else outside of you is coming in, they're going to say, what are the assets of your company? Where is the value add? And it may be, for instance, it may be the product you develop. It may be the database of users or the reoccurring revenue or the revenue model.

[00:16:08] It may be the brand loyalty, whatever it is. And so it actually creates that asset in your company that you can sell off or it's investible or some of those as well. 

[00:16:18] Sam Kamani: [00:16:18] Oh, a hundred percent can not agree more. And that's why, you know, it's like all the. I mean, I mean, even for, I know for Nike, they do a lot of patents and stuff, but you know, the, how valuable is the Nike brand names?

[00:16:32] So many, they have paid hundreds of millions to athletes, every art in billions every year to just promote that brand name, brand name is everything for, for some, but whereas if it's highly technical, if it's a medical device, then. And as he said, you know, patient make sense. And for some like Apple, both of them make sense.

[00:16:55]so now that is, very, very, super good advice. Is there any mistakes you see startups making that come to you on an ongoing basis? And what are those? What, how can they avoid those? 

[00:17:09] Devin Miller: [00:17:09] Yeah, we could probably have a whole podcast episode on those. The highlights on there. Yes. Oh, one of the ones probably that I see the most, I'll give you a two.

[00:17:19] One is that they try and DIY and I fully get it that, you know, as a startup, as a well business, you only have so much budget. You only have so many things. And so you, you, you do it yourself. You look it up on YouTube, you Google it or whatnot, and you do a DIY project. The problem is, is oftentimes it's, they, it gives you a couple of problems.

[00:17:39] Is it gives you a false sense of security in the sense you didn't do a ripe. It wasn't done properly. You don't know what you're doing. And so you have a false sense of security. Now you're protected. Now you have that asset when in reality, you don't, or it's much different than what you think it is. And then to go in and if it can even be fixed, when you go into an attorney, it's a lot of times more expensive to do so to fix the problem than it is to do right in the first place.

[00:18:02] So that's kind of one, that's a natural tendency to do, and I get it. And I like to DIY projects myself. But it's one where it can be a lot of times, especially if you don't know what you're doing, can create more problems and solutions. The other one that I'd hit on is, and they kind of go panning left, but one of the issues that a lot of companies, especially to get startups and small businesses, Is, they don't want to go talk to an attorney because they think an attorney will be inexpensive.

[00:18:25] Right. So they wait and they wait and they wait because, Hey, you know, I don't even know if I need a patent or trademark, so I'd rather not go spend a, you know, several hundred dollars to have an attorney. Just tell me I don't need that. I'd rather just not do it. And the problem is is they wait so long now they've closed their window.

[00:18:42] So like for instance, on patents, there's deadlines. After you put it in the public, you only have one year within which to pursue a patent. So first time he introduced to the public. If you wait more than a year, it becomes public domain that anybody can use it, but they wait so long that they've, you know, they've been selling it for a year or two.

[00:18:58] They come into our office and say, now I'd like to get a patent. And we have that uncomfortable discussion of will. A lot of what you want to patent can be patented. And then, then we have to try and figure out, is there anything that can be patented and navigate? It kind of on the trademark side, kind of the same thing.

[00:19:12] You build a brand for 10 years, you think, okay. We thought we should probably now do something about it, but over those 10 years, other people have started using the same or similar brands. And now you get to fight, come to find out. Yeah, somebody who's already trademarked the brand and you'll have a big problem.

[00:19:28] You're having to rebrand or you're having to go get a license or acquire the other company. Because you didn't trademark as somebody else trademarked in the meantime. So those are probably sometimes DIY sometimes waiting too long. And before you actually, okay. Going, or, and you know, a lot of times, a lot of attorneys and ourselves included, and I'm not just plugging our art.

[00:19:47] My, for myself, is there a lot of attorneys are willing to do free consultations. If you can find a good attorney, they'll free, do a free strategy session or consultation they'll least give you the idea. And I said, when I sit down with the company, A lot of times, they'll say, here's what I do. And I may not.

[00:20:03] Sometimes I'll say I wouldn't go for a patent for a year or two until you reach these are these milestones or yes, you would want to trademark me probably want to be a bit farther along, but they'll at least help you. If they're a good attorney, they'll help you get the kind of that roadmap as to when you should start, consider these when you should plan into it and help you avoid a lot of those issues.

[00:20:23] Sam Kamani: [00:20:23] That is so true. It's just that sometimes I have in fact say no to people to not think about Dayton's because they have just come to, I mean, I talk with a lot of founders. They just have an idea. They have no execution. They have, they have not built the product yet. They have, I mean, Let alone putting it out in the public because they're just going on assumptions that once they build it, people will come and buy it.

[00:20:48] So I said like, at least build a prototype, build something before you go and patent it to just see what issues might come up that you might come up with. So, yeah. I don't know if I am giving the right. Advice, but that's what I would, 

[00:21:04] Devin Miller: [00:21:04] it depends on the time, the type of industry you're in. So some, some points are, I completely agree.

[00:21:10] So if you're, let's say you're in a physical device product, because a lot of times, as you build it, you'll figure it and things you'll overcome obstacles or hurdles you didn't anticipate. And oftentimes those are the most patentable parts in the sense that. A lot of times, the hurdles you're having to overcome are the same ones that anybody else would have to overcome.

[00:21:28] And so doing that prototype or that quick proof of concept can be a great one or the other hand let's take software as an example, software, it may be a, you know, It may be a longer or time where you can very well to find out what you want the software to do, but it takes a long time to build it, right.

[00:21:45] It may take a year to build it and you don't necessarily need to wait. So the whole software is built before you go and get a patent. So it kind of depends a little bit on the industry. The other one that I would look at us, how competitive is the industry, right? So if you're in an industry that's incredibly competitive.

[00:22:01]lots of people are innovating. It. Doing a lot of things, then you may not want to wait as long, but you may not want to wait until you've done spent a year or two men are producing it because if a lot of other people are working on it, they may come up with earlier than you are. They may patent it earlier than you, because it's so competitive.

[00:22:19] And yet if you're saying, Hey, we're doing something that's not a very competitive industry or something that we're not as worried about competitors or doing something new or unique, then you may want, you could hold off. So I think it kind of depends on. The industry and the type of product as to when or how long you wait.

[00:22:36] Sam Kamani: [00:22:36] It is very, very true. I completely agree with that. you know, it's just because, I often read online that, you know, that. Patents are no longer protective are that they don't mean, yeah. A lot, not trademarks, but about more so, about Peyton's, especially in software, you know, just like the, like Google wasn't the last or the first search engine.

[00:23:01] Facebook is in the last or the first social network and that. Like Uber, isn't the last ride sharing every city around the world have their own two or three competitors of ride share. And some, most of them will die off because they don't have the scale and the funding off of Uber or Lyft or any of the big, big names.

[00:23:20] So it's like, Does it even matter for those sort of projects to even Peyton? Because, 

[00:23:27] Devin Miller: [00:23:27] well, it's funny. The reason I laugh is because the funny thing is, is all three of those companies have huge IP port. 

[00:23:33] Sam Kamani: [00:23:33] They do, they do have, 

[00:23:34] Devin Miller: [00:23:34] yes, but you know, to your point, art, you can use Google. You can use being, you can use prob I don't know.

[00:23:41] There's I know there's duck, duck go, and there's a few others and yet. How many people do you use those five, the largest is Google. And so what they have done and, you know, so on the software side, you know, the search engine, maybe you can't do anything new or creative, but let's say you come up with a great way to get the information that people want.

[00:23:59] So you get the best search results. Well, that can give you a very large competitive advantage. Why do you go to Google is because a lot of times you get better search results than some of the other ones. And so that's what they protect, right? So it may not be that they protect the whole idea of a search engine, but how they get those search results or you take Uber as an example, you also have Lyft, I think you have on the go.

[00:24:21] And I know there's a few other ones. 

[00:24:22] Sam Kamani: [00:24:22] Remember so many globally, there's hundreds, globally, hundreds, if not thousands, 

[00:24:28] Devin Miller: [00:24:28] how many of them do you know. Even for the product side, why aren't all of them as competitive, why aren't all we using. And it's a lot of times, one time that, you know, if you go back to Google, but kind of Uber as well is they do a lot of times user interface, how the user interacts and they'll get patents on that.

[00:24:44] So if you think of, you know, one of my favorite examples, if you take the YouTube example is, you know, and if you have a newer phone, you can watch YouTube videos, right? And if you use click out of it, then it makes a little window that you can keep watching as you do other things on your phone. Well, they patented that because now, you know, software and it's, but it's one that everybody wants to now use.

[00:25:04] Right? It's a great feature that it applies so many. Now it can have a little window that I watch or listen to the video or watch or whatever, while I'm responding to email or anything else. And so they say, where are features they want? So. I think there is a misnomer that software can't, you know, they can't be patented or it's not that I think where it gets into trouble is if you just try and take a barrier, high level or overarching idea of software to your point, if I just want to go and get a patent on a search engine, not going to happen.

[00:25:32] Yes. If I want to get a patent on a bidding system, that I can sell products on eBay, you can't, you know, they're already done and they're already out there, but if you can find something in software that really sets you apart, it still is a fruitful field as all the other ones. 

[00:25:49]Sam Kamani: [00:25:49] that is very interesting points.

[00:25:51] So they might be, painting in just a part of their, one of their algorithm or something like that. and they would be protecting that. yeah. Yeah, it is just that a lot of the startups are still in an extremely early stage that play. they don't have anything. As unique in, and they don't have, because a lot of these things are driven by scale, whether it is Uber or YouTube or Facebook or Google or any of these things.

[00:26:19]and it's only when you get that scale, you can build some of these things. unfortunately, so, so yeah. 

[00:26:28] Devin Miller: [00:26:28] Yeah, I would agree with that to a point, although you have so many, so many new things, I'd say that startups often times are better able to navigate that than big businesses in the sense that once you reach a big enough level with the company, they start to be too risk adverse, meaning they don't want to take risk.

[00:26:45] They don't want it. And startups are saying, Hey, we have to take risks. Otherwise we're never gonna make it. So you take it as an example, Snapchat versus Facebook Snapchat. Well, after they were a startup for a long time small company and they, but they had some unique thickness. It was different than what Facebook was doing and they were able to compete.

[00:27:04] So I think there's still room to navigate, but I think personally, But I think to your point, there is some that they do have some scale. They can, you know, come up with a lot of ideas, versus when you're starting, you have to be a lot more targeted. 

[00:27:19]Sam Kamani: [00:27:19]  so that is really good advice for pretty much any startup and founder I'm coming towards the end of the show.

[00:27:29] I have this three questions that I asked. First one is what is the one book that you recommend people or a book that you are reading right now? 

[00:27:37]Devin Miller: [00:27:37] I'll answer both of those. So the one that I'm reading right now, it's, I I'd have to honestly look up the name of it. It's I think it's anything, anything store it's basically, the autobiography of the story.

[00:27:48] We have Amazon and Amazon, not common, how they built that. It's been a really one that I'd have to look up the exact name. Cause I I've been reading it for a little while. So fairly late the book, I think it's anything stored. I love that one. Two other books and I'll recommend, I know you only asked for what, but I'll give you more.

[00:28:03] Sam Kamani: [00:28:03] I'll put the links in the description, all, all the things you're saying, including your brand company and all that. 

[00:28:09]Devin Miller: [00:28:09] one, I really enjoyed it and I tend to like business books or, talking about startups and small business. So most of those are the type of type I end up reading. What I really enjoyed was called that will never work.

[00:28:20] And it's the star or the story of Netflix and how real you had the founder that they were making an exit app for a different company. And it was for Mark Randolph, which everybody knows or most people though, Steve Hastings is a person with Netflix. Mark Randolph was actually original founder and it talks about him actually pitching the idea.

[00:28:39] Of what would Netflix. And this was back in the day when Netflix would, you know, mail DVDs as opposed to streaming and, Mark ran off fishes to see Hastings. And he said that will never work. And that's kind of the Genesis of the book, which is, it's a really interesting kind of walk you through the early days of Netflix.

[00:28:53] The last one, I won't give as much of a conversation. I also enjoy a book called entree leadership by Dave Ramsey talks a lot about the mixture of leadership and entrepreneurship and how those go together. Yeah. 

[00:29:05] Sam Kamani: [00:29:05] Yeah. He's got very popular YouTube channels. They Ramsey, everyone knows him in the entrepreneurship circles 

[00:29:12] yep. The second one, what is one podcast that you recommend? 

[00:29:17] Devin Miller: [00:29:17] All right. So one I'll recommend too. I keep giving you go, 

[00:29:21] Sam Kamani: [00:29:21] go, go ahead. Go ahead. I should not say one podcast. 

[00:29:25] Devin Miller: [00:29:25] I had to give you this one. So if I was in the legal field, you know, if you're any type of a law firm and it doesn't have to be IP or patents or trademarks related, I like profit with law.

[00:29:35] It's a smaller one, but it's growing. And I. No, I have been a guest on that one, but I love it. I actually, we have all the attorneys listen to it each week and we actually talk about each episode because there's enough insight in there that it really is insightful for how to market and grow your law firms.

[00:29:49] So that's one good one. The other one that both me and my son loved to listen to is called business Wars and it kind of takes business Wars of, to kind of head to head competition between two different companies and how they competed against each other. So that one I love as well. That 

[00:30:05] Sam Kamani: [00:30:05] is such a cool concept.

[00:30:07] I will have to check that one out. 

[00:30:09] Devin Miller: [00:30:09] and I'll give you my favorite. One of the fun ones. My son loves the one that's about M&Ms versus Mars versus Hershey, and that he loved that because it was candy. The one that I thought was the most interesting was, Kellogg's versus, general mills and how cereal came about.

[00:30:23] So it's, it's some pretty fun 

[00:30:25] Sam Kamani: [00:30:25] ones. Yeah, I have heard though. Kellogg's and the serial story. Very interesting.

[00:30:30] ,   if you had unlimited time and money and resources, what would you build or what would you work on? 

[00:30:38] Devin Miller: [00:30:38] Alright, well, I gotta be our, I'll give you, my idea is a very high level because, because I still, someday, someday may want to work on it, but it's, so I have so many things before that.

[00:30:47] I don't know if we'll ever get there, but for the audience out there, I've already patented it. So you don't need to, you don't want to go after it. Otherwise, the one that I thought was cool is basically if I were to take, you know, I've got a whole bunch of other companies, but if I had unlimited funds, let's say I finished up all my other projects I'm working on and just have more free time that I knew what to do with.

[00:31:06] One that I would like to build is what's called crowdsourcing, but for customer service. So basically it takes the idea, what kind of Uber has done for ride sharing, but it takes it for customer service. Cause a lot of companies, I hate when I call customer service and they give you the autodialer that takes me 10 minutes.

[00:31:23] Oh, 

[00:31:24] Sam Kamani: [00:31:24] I hate that. 

[00:31:25] Devin Miller: [00:31:25] The way that I get to the end and they tell me you'd IB to leave a message or I called the wrong number. I hit the wrong thing. And so the reason they do that is it's so expensive, you know, to have somebody man, the phones all the time. It's hard, especially if you're a startup or small business.

[00:31:40] So my idea is taking people that are aren't necessarily customer service representatives, but let's say, you know, the iPhone very well. And you've you just, you know, take a tech geek that loves the iPhone. And you could help most people troubleshoot their phone. The idea is that then have you, you basically kind of on demand and your customer service representative, when you have a few minutes and you want to answer some questions and do that as crowdsourcing.

[00:32:02] So that would be, I mean, the idea, if I ever have enough time, money, effort, and I have enough free time that I someday pursue. But I've already patented it. So nobody gets to go steal it. 

[00:32:11] Sam Kamani: [00:32:11] No, that's good. That's a  really interesting idea. 

[00:32:14], best of luck for that. And, finally they do, feeble finder. Is it the Miller IPL website or are other places, do you connect with people as well?

[00:32:27] Devin Miller: [00:32:27] So they can, I'll give you a few people can choose what makes sense. So Miller, IPLS a great place to come out. Find, you know, find out about the firm. They can, find out all of our flat fee prices. We do incredibly transparent, flat beads, easy to understand. Mean, you can also go onto the website and schedule a free strategy session with myself or other attorneys at the firm.

[00:32:48] So that's the first one. The second one. If you just want to do a free strategy session, you can just go to free strategy means reading.com takes your right to a calendar. You can grab some time on my calendar and I'm happy to help. If you want to just reach out to me and chat or bounce, any ideas off of the third URL, I'll give you is meet devin.com and that one you can just grab some time, I'll make it calendar to chat about whatever.

[00:33:09] So those are the three websites. The other two places you can certainly find me on LinkedIn. I'm okay. Fairly active there, it just be under Devin Miller. And I think it'd be, just do like Devin Miller patent attorney I'll come up. and if not Devin Miller, pan attorney, Utah, or something of that nature.

[00:33:23]and then the last one. I also do a podcast. It's kind of more flavor of yours, but a bit different. And it's kind of takes a journey of inventors. And if you want to check out inventive journey, that's the last one. So all of the above are great ways to reach me. And I think depending on how you want to connect up with me, choose whichever one works.

[00:33:42] Sam Kamani: [00:33:42] Fantastic. That has been super helpful and very, very insightful when it comes to protecting your idea of protecting your brand name or going and getting a patent, if you have a unique process or a system around your product or service. So thank you once again. Thank you Devin for coming on the show look forward to following your journey of how you continue to help startups. Thank you. 

[00:34:07] Devin Miller: [00:34:07] Alright, thanks for having me on. It was a pleasure. 

[00:34:10]