In this Prime Talk Podcast Sponsored by GETIDA – Rich Goldstein – Goldstein Patent Law – Rich founded Goldstein Patent Law more than 25 years ago — and has since become a highly sought-after industry leader. He has a natural ability to explain complex legal topics in simple terms. He uses that to educate and empower his clients, also more information about his life’s journey. #RichGoldstein #GoldsteinPatentLaw
About Rich Goldstein – Goldstein Patent Law – At Goldstein Patent Law, we’re on a mission to connect, protect, and educate. We exist to help you protect your valuable idea, with a custom legal strategy. This has driven us for nearly 30 years — making us a national leader in patent law.
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Yoni Mazor (00:05):
Hi, everybody. Welcome to another episode of prime talk. Today, I have a special guest. Today I’m having rich Goldstein. Rich is a patent attorney at Goldstein patent law, which is a leading patent attorney in the Amazon space. So Rich, welcome to the show.
Rich Goldstein (00:19):
Thank you. Thank you so much for being here.
Yoni Mazor (00:21):
Our pleasure. So today’s episode is gonna be all about you, the story of rich Goldstein. You’re gonna show us everything. Where are you from? Where did you grow up? How’d you begin your professional career station to station until where you are today with the world of e-commerce and especially Amazon. So I guess with that further ado, let’s jump right into it.
Rich Goldstein (00:41):
Ok. Sounds good. And by the way, just correct my last statement. Thank you so much for having me. I said, thank you so much for being here, but you’re always here. I’m the guest and I appreciate being a guest here on your podcast. So thank you so much. Thank you.
Yoni Mazor (00:55):
And on a personal, I was kind of looking for this for a long time, so it’s a privilege.
Rich Goldstein (01:00):
Yeah, me too. To me, you too. Absolutely. and so we wanna roll it back far. So where am I from? I was born in Staten Island, New York, and I kind of grew up there, went to a pre-engineering high school which then kind of led me towards electrical engineering. I went to Stony Brook for electrical engineering.
Yoni Mazor (01:22):
Hold on. So growing on an island, your parents were in the background of professionals, they were entrepreneurs. What was kind of what’s the environment at home for you?
Rich Goldstein (01:30):
Not at all. Entrepreneurial, like, so very, kind of you know, risk-averse, let’s say. So I had a strong entrepreneur or streak when I was young and people would say like, well, where did that come from? Where do you come from? And
Yoni Mazor (01:48):
What’d you do? What were those little you know, shining moments of entrepreneurial when You’re?
Rich Goldstein (01:52):
So I mean, first of all, my dad was an engineer you know, for the city of New York. And he worked for the city of New York, I think more than 40 years until he retired. Like, so from the time he got out of college until the time that he retired, you know, he was working in this one job. Right. And so just me as an entrepreneur was very far outside of that background, very conservative. They always bought everything for cash, never credit, you know? They save up enough money to buy the car. I mean their house, they had a mortgage for, of course, but in terms of anything else that they spent money on, they never ran credit card bills. They are never kind of got credit to like buy an automobile and things like that. So very conservative. And you know, so with me though, like I was like from a young age, I was just like come wanted to make money. I wanted to open businesses when, if, when I was seven years old, I would’ve told you to like, I’m gonna have five different corporations. And I was into electronics as a kid. So I’d say I’m gonna have an electronics parts company. I’m gonna have a software company. I’m going to have a company that sells computers. And I had to hold on.
Yoni Mazor (03:08):
So all this is seven years old or already as a teenager. So what, this was like the sixties, seventies, eighties (60s, 70s, 80s)
Rich Goldstein (03:14):
Yoni Mazor (03:17):
So in the seventies, the awareness of electronics is gonna be a booming thing and software was also that’s the early stage of Silicon Valley. That’s interesting
Rich Goldstein (03:23):
Exactly. It was well before, you know. So I was seven years old. My mom called the professor at the College of Staten Island and said like, you know, he wants to learn about computers and what should he do? And so she got me to be able to audit a computer class at colleges dot island when I was seven years old. So I said, I wasn’t taking it for credit. I was just able to attend. And we wrote programs and basic programming language. We wrote them on punch cards, which was like back in the day before they didn’t even have a computer there. The computer was located at the city university in New York and Washington Heights. And they had terminals where they could just feed the cards in one by one, the computer in Manhattan would run the program and then provide the result back at the college of Staten Island. So I early stages, very early computer stuff. So that’s kind of like how I got started with technology. And again, like and I wanted to have my computer. I wanted to buy my computer and I didn’t have the money. And so that was one of the things that encouraged me to
Yoni Mazor (04:32):
How much sure. Computers back then, like a fortune that’s like only for big operations government. Right. Cause it fills a whole room. It was like, right. It’s a massive beast.
Rich Goldstein (04:40):
Well, around that same time radio shack introduced their first home computer called the tiers 80, which was $599 for the most basic one, which $599 in 1977 was significant. And my father made a deal with me that if I was able to save up half of the money that he would pay the other half and significant for, you know, he was, my mom was not working. It was just him working at the time. And I don’t know what his salary was, but I bet you, it was in the twenties 20,000 per year or so. So that’s a significant offer and, you know, he told me later, he never expected that I’d be able to come up with half of the money, but I did.
Yoni Mazor (05:27):
And how’d you done it in a nutshell, like, how’d you be able to come up with 300 bucks? How long did it take you though?
Rich Goldstein (05:32):
It took me about two years. And I was shoveling snow and you know, so I always hoping for a snowstorm so I could go shovel the neighbors. And also at a certain point, I was selling gum in school. I brought gum as I got it at discount wholesale and then I brought it in and sold it at retail with, for a nice profit. So I saved up some money that way.
Yoni Mazor (06:02):
Let’s say you had the target, you had the destination, you made it happen. It took two years, whatever, you can get your hands on to make cash. You did it, you know that was your end of the bargain with your father. And he came out with the cash and he said he always pays cash. And for him it was, he’s making about 20,000 a year, one percent. It’s one, half percent of its salary. Right.
Rich Goldstein (06:18):
So it’s significant when you know when you are paying the bills and everything with one salary. so June 5th, 1979, I went and bought that computer
Yoni Mazor (06:32):
Before we jump into other things. But what’d you do with it, anything significant with that computer changed your life was the whole or was like put aside after a little while they
Rich Goldstein (06:39):
Used to you know, write programs. And like I thought about actually making a program to sell because it was the very beginning of the software industry. That like, it was all like mom and pop software developers who like they created something. And then they put an ad in the back of a computer magazine about their program that they created for whatever, for managing your household recipes or something like that. And they’d sell it for like, you know, $495 or $995. And I never actually did that. I never actually launched that, but that’s kind of what the environment was like back then a computer.
Yoni Mazor (07:19):
I didn’t realize that. Got it very cool. Okay. So let’s so you go graduate at technical school, right? For engineering in Staten island then? Yes. What’s your next move or where do you go?
Rich Goldstein (07:31):
So I went to Stony Brook for electrical engineering and something happened in high school too. That kind of changed my trajectory there, which is that I started playing in a band and I played keyboards in a club wedding band. And, so you know, one of the things that came out of that though, was that like the band was mostly made up of three brothers. And they had a fam, they were a bit older. They were already working and they had a family business and they sold beauty supplies. They sold supplies to all the beauty salons in the area throughout Staten Island and Brooklyn. And I was working on the weekends with one of the brothers and where he had his route going around to different hair salons. And so what I decided to do is when I went away to college, I decided I was going to open my own business, kind of selling beauty supplies to the salons out there in long island. So basically I bought supplies from my friends there, with the beauty supply in Brooklyn. And I created essentially my route, my own business in long island. And it just involved cold sales, just walking into a salon cold saying, you know, I’ve got all of these different.
Yoni Mazor (08:55):
So saying the playing in the band with them led you to the relationship with them. So you were able to buy inventory and do wholesale to beauty salons in the area. But I think I see kind of a little bit of synergy because beauty salons, that’s what ladies or people go to prepare their hair for the wedding. So you can get built to business as you go visit. Right. So kinda once there’s the other so interesting combination for both. So keyboard, you learn how to play keyboard at home. You learn piano or something, or Yourself taught.
Rich Goldstein (09:20):
I started taking piano lessons when I was in the third grade.
Yoni Mazor (09:25):
Me too. Interesting. Okay. How many years did you learn? I saw you playing in Texas. That’s what I remember. You were playing. I saw you at the billion-dollar sales summit in Austin, Texas, that little haunted house that went through that, a piano. And then I remember you were kind of you know, playing with the cable.
Rich Goldstein (09:41):
that’s right. Just sort of, you know, playing along with the, whatever was playing on the,
Yoni Mazor (09:45):
Yeah improvising. So cute. So how many years did you learn?
Rich Goldstein (09:49):
So probably about a dozen years or so I took,
Yoni Mazor (09:54):
I did six years. I learned six years.
Rich Goldstein (09:56):
But then, you know, again I was in bands and it went from there, but, you know, it’s funny. I trace all, it’s very interesting that we’re talking about that because I trace all of that. I trace being a patent attorney back to that.
Yoni Mazor (10:09):
How’s that? Well, what’s the connection as far as you see it.
Rich Goldstein (10:13):
Well, I’ll give you the pieces as we’ve talked about them so far, which is that. So basically, because an aunt of mine moved away and left us a piano I got to take piano lessons in the third grade because I did that. I joined the band playing keyboards and because I joined the band I got to work in the beauty supply business and got interested in sales. And because of that, I started my route when I got to college. So when I started my business kind of and I became very interested in business. And so then here are a couple more pieces. And so then now I’m studying electrical engineering. I realized that the reality of being an engineer was that you’d work on the same thing day in and day out.
Rich Goldstein (11:00):
You don’t get to work on cool things every day. You get to work on a piece of a ventilation system for an airplane. And then you work on that for five years. And that combined with my interest in business, told me I wanna do something more than be in New York. And, that’s what led me to patent law is someone had suggested you finish your engineering degree and you go to law school, then you could become a patent lawyer because you need to have both to do so. And so it was the piano that led me to the piano lessons that led me to play in the band, which led me to have my own sales business, which made me interested in doing something more than being an engineer. And so that led me to patent law.
Yoni Mazor (11:51):
What an interesting path. I would never see it come like that way, but, you know, that’s, what’s the beauty of life. It’s just authentic. All right.
Rich Goldstein (11:59):
So and that’s why you asked the questions to unfold the story, because there’s always an interesting story there, right?
Yoni Mazor (12:04):
That’s my joy here. Okay. So let’s hit into you I guess graduating from law school, let’s start stamping the years on this. So which year did you graduate?
Rich Goldstein (12:15):
I graduated in 1994.
Yoni Mazor (12:17):
You graduate. And then when you graduate, what do you do? What’s your first station? Do you dive into the actual industry, you know, practicing law or you still did business or did both?
Rich Goldstein (12:28):
I started my firm right away. Which is kind of unheard of you,
Yoni Mazor (12:35):
or what’d you do with the business, with the beauty supply business cashed out?
Rich Goldstein (12:40):
Yeah, I just kind of it was reliant on me and those relationships going into to visit those customers. I kept it going for a little while longer. And then eventually I just had them work directly with my friends in Brooklyn who had the beauty supply company.
Yoni Mazor (12:58):
So you’re in between man, you build a relationship and you just connect them and moved on. So everybody was happy. Exactly, Got it. So 1994 we’re 2021 at this point, but now we gotta cover those, you know, that timeframe with your career, with your legal career finally, right. Let’s, take us there. So let’s jump into significant stations in your legal career. Some I know since 1994, so that’s pretty bold by the way. How did you have the, I guess the ambition to just start your firm and dive right into it?
Rich Goldstein (13:27):
Well, it’s interesting. It kind of happened. If we roll it back a year, it’s in 1993, I worked during the summer for a patent law firm, like a rather prestigious patent law firm. And the job I had was called summer associate, a very prestigious job to get, and pretty much the idea is that you work the summer and you get to work for different attorneys at the firm. And at the end of the summer, hopefully, you’ll get an offer to have a job after graduation. And this is kind of the path that most law school students seek out.
Yoni Mazor (14:05):
Is that law firm still around, by the way?
Rich Goldstein (14:07):
They imploded about 10 years ago, but that’s, I guess that’s a whole another story but the point is that they, so I got this prestigious job, which, you know, so summer in 1993 for a thousand dollars a week, so a thousand dollars a week to have an internship, you know, and like 27 years ago, that was pretty good.
Yoni Mazor (14:33):
And I’m surprised they paid you, so it was good.
Rich Goldstein (14:35):
No, they did like, that’s the thing is like they kind of want to give you a taste of what it is to work there. And then like, you know, as you go into work you go in for this like internship and like kind of like, no one gives you any direction. No one tells you, like, when you’re supposed to come in in the morning, no one tells you when you’re supposed to leave. No one tells you kinda like what your work is. You have to kind of go around and get to know some of the partners and maybe they’ll give you a project to work on. So there’s a bit of a mind game going on with it too. And then like about two weeks in I had friends that were going out and this was in Manhattan, 48th and third.
And I had friends which were going out. So I think it was merchants the bar in Manhattan on the first avenue there. And I was like I’ll go meet them. So, and at 6:00 PM, I got on the elevator headed down toward the lobby. And one of the other associates from the firm got on the elevator with me and he looked at me and he said only half a day. And I was just like, you know what is this, you know like I don’t want that job or for, I don’t wanna work here, you know, like, it’s kind of funny because like, again, they don’t tell you what time to work until they just wait until you say like, well, maybe it’s okay to go home now or, and then like that, this is what it is. And I kind of, at that moment,
Yoni Mazor (16:04):
Just saying it wasn’t straightforward, it was kinda mindset with the boundaries and you were testing it, you got this weird attitude or weird reaction. And it felt like this is not the place for you.
Rich Goldstein (16:12):
And I was like, it went from being like, this is the golden ticket to like, this is not for me, never, again, I am going to work at a law firm. And I decided at that moment that I was gonna spend the rest of the summer learning as much as I could because I was gonna start my own when I graduated.
Yoni Mazor (16:31):
So that was a pivotal moment for you. That was your push. So we needed
Rich Goldstein (16:34):
Interesting. That was the push. And so I graduated from law school. I started my firm.
Yoni Mazor (16:40):
What New York City Manhattan right away or where’d you start? Basement somewhere in Staten island or what was it?
Rich Goldstein (16:46):
Well in my apartment in Staten Island. And I had a duplex and there was a door downstairs and there was a door upstairs into the hallway and when clients would come by, I’d have them come to the second floor and then I Velcro a sign on the door you know, for gold scene and associates. So like I just plopped it on the door when the client was, is coming by.
Yoni Mazor (17:15):
And then when they’re done, boom, you take it off. It’s your apartment. Exactly.
Rich Goldstein (17:18):
Exactly. So that’s kind of how that went and but it was interesting, you know, and starting you know, like it was the obvious problem with starting on your own, like that is you don’t have any clients what’d you do.
Yoni Mazor (17:37):
how’d you grown from that point? Well
Rich Goldstein (17:39):
Actually what I did is I started in a magazine for inventors. And so it was a magazine for inventors and I advertised in my magazine. And so that funneled people towards my law firm.
Yoni Mazor (17:56):
When you’re saying your magazine, what do you mean your magazine? It wasn’t yours.
Rich Goldstein (17:59):
Well I mean, I created a magazine,
Yoni Mazor (18:03):
you created a magazine.
Rich Goldstein (18:05):
Yoni Mazor (18:06):
You created content, meaning a magazine for a minute. How does that work out?
Rich Goldstein (18:11):
It worked out fine. I mean, I did it for a couple of years. But the real point of it was to send business toward.
Yoni Mazor (18:19):
That is unbelievable. That’s one of the most authentic creative things I’ve heard. My father’s a lawyer by the way. I’m full disclosure. I never, I mean, that’s a good interesting technique and this is what for, it was like, you know, any business, nobody knows me. Let’s create content for them. Right. A magazine, which in itself it’s someone data task, but behind the scene is really to kind of be able to promote your services there, magazine ever made money or no, that’s a question.
Rich Goldstein (18:47):
No, it never made money. But you really, the point of it was leggen. I mean, essentially I was doing content marketing in the nineties, but in print form rather than, you know, on web pages,
Yoni Mazor (18:56):
So it’s free delivery. Right. You just send it out to where? to companies or what was the distribution like different things?
Rich Goldstein (19:02):
You know, one of them was that there were a bunch of different patent libraries across the country. There were, I think have 70 different libraries that had microfilm collections of patents where people can go to do their patent searching. And so I contacted all of them and showed them the magazine and said, we could send you a copy to, you know, send you however many copies, fill in the blank to have, you know, circulation for you to kind of for people to use as reference. And we could also send you free copies to give to people that are coming to the library and fill in the blank. How many copies do you want?
Yoni Mazor (19:42):
So which were the libraries?
Rich Goldstein (19:45):
They were around the country and they’re called patent depository libraries,
Yoni Mazor (19:48):
Things by 70 of them, as you said,
Rich Goldstein (19:50):
Yoni Mazor (19:52):
got it. That’s their distribution centers
Rich Goldstein (19:54):
Basically, and so, I got them to either, then some of them want to just a copy in hand for reference, some of them took me up on sending them like a hundred copies to give out to people. And so that’s pretty much, that was the main distribution.
Yoni Mazor (20:10):
That’s great. And right away a work people reaching out and the business role from there.
Rich Goldstein (20:14):
Exactly. So that gave me a start. And then at the same time, I did a couple of other things. I had a class with the learning annex in New York, LA, and San Francisco where I was doing a course called inventions. One on one, people would come to that. Like typically every time they did a course like that, I would have about 30 people there. And usually, I get about two clients from the course, like a three-hour evening course.
Yoni Mazor (20:42):
Got it. Okay. So content marketing, actual educational platforms right. That was enough to roll it up. And okay. What was the next station internally as a business there?
Rich Goldstein (20:53):
And then, and then also I was doing yellow pages. So I started you know, that was a little bit slower to start because you have to get into next year’s book. So I couldn’t start that right from the beginning.
Yoni Mazor (21:05):
That’s classic. That’s a directory. That’s kind of that’s the expected route. Let’s put it this way, but being able to lecture with, with the education that is, you need to have some sort of caliber. And also that director is creative in hindsight, I think with the 70 distribution centers called libraries, which act as their fulfillment center, you know, they have their demand built-in, which is pretty genius on your end to spot that and realize that and take the initiative. Thanks. Okay. Tell, take us more you know what’s our next station with the firm?
Rich Goldstein (21:39):
So pretty much the thing that I did too is then I expanded to other cities. I created satellite offices in LA, in San Francisco, so that and I kind of ran it virtual. I had all, I had the biggest ad on the patent attorney and all the yellow page books in California. And so I had people calling and the calls were directed to my office in New York. And if they wanted to come in and see me, then I would set up an appointment for the day I was gonna be in LA and then the day, I was gonna be in San Francisco. So I did that one.
Yoni Mazor (22:13):
So, that was an extension of you all these offices settle, lot offices or extension of you. So you’re trying to do Legion and those regions.
Rich Goldstein (22:21):
Exactly. And so then I went out to have physical appointments with people once a month in each place.
Yoni Mazor (22:28):
Also very innovative. Very cool. Okay. But let’s touch for a moment, actually like the actual work, like, you know, pat attorney. So what was a classic route for you? Any special, like specialty you were able to hone in during these years, or even today, or like, let’s talk about the actual work like to give our audience an idea of what does all mean? I’m sure it’s very broad. It’s so probably into it.
Rich Goldstein (22:50):
Well, the actual work, I mean, it’s really, it’s about understanding the invention and being able to understand the differences from what other people have done before so that we could present it to the patent office.
Yoni Mazor (23:07):
So the ambition is the classic ambition is there are inventions. You wanna be able to get a patent for your clients. Right. And as far as I know, correct me, if I’m wrong, there are two types of patents. You got the design, right? And then you got the utilities. So if you wanna elaborate on that a little bit, give us a crash course and panel law.
Rich Goldstein (23:27):
Exactly. So then design patent is for just the physical appearance of a product, what they call the ornamental appearance of it. And a utility patent is more of what you think of when you think of an invention being patented. In other words, like when you think of, and like someone working in their garage to solve a problem, to come up with a better version of something. And so they come up with a product that’s different from ones that have been done before it’s structurally different and it’s for a functional reason, whatever the differences are, it’s got a new lever, it’s got a new spring. It’s something it’s function differences from functional purpose. That’s what a utility patent is for. So that’s usually what people think of when they’re thinking of a patent is.
Yoni Mazor (24:12):
Eureka has an invention. Nobody did that. Yes. Kinda, you know, that thing that kinda way before. That’s February utility.
Rich Goldstein (24:20):
Exactly. Design. So just about the shape.
Yoni Mazor (24:23):
So on a daily, when you get your leads, you get your clients, it’s understanding their invention really to the most inner details and say, Hey, and you search around. To see what’s out there. And if there’s any clash with anybody, if this course is clear, you go through that process. It takes a little bit, bit of a while. You get that patent for them and they’re happy, then they can go grow their business in their way. And we have at least some sort of protection from the law
Rich Goldstein (24:46):
Exactly. And that’s pretty much what I’ve done through my career is I’ve worked with thousands of people obtained over 2000 patents to date
Yoni Mazor (24:58):
And anything worth mentioning here or jumping names or
Rich Goldstein (25:01):
No, I mean, it’s all like industry-specific or you know,
Yoni Mazor (25:08):
public companies, anything that you’re proud of during these years, I was like, you know, for you as a badge of honor, or as a general with all these badges or,
Rich Goldstein (25:21):
I mean, look, there’s just a lot there, I guess a lot of different directions, nothing I’m particularly honing in on at the moment. But I’ve mostly worked with physical products or and software throughout my career. Those have been the main areas.
Yoni Mazor (25:36):
Got it. I wanna ask, I guess, throw this wrench here with you know drug companies, right? Pharmaceuticals. They have panels, on new medication. How does that work tickets to them? You know, that niche or what is that all about?
Rich Goldstein (25:50):
Say that again with,
Yoni Mazor (25:51):
Pharmaceutical companies, I know they have patents when they have a new drug come out, they usually have a patent. So that’s a utility that would be, it’s not a design because the capsule nobody cares about.
Rich Goldstein (26:00):
It would be utilized. It would be for the combination of ingredients that makes it do what it does.
Yoni Mazor (26:05):
And okay. Let’s is it different than any other patents in terms of the amount of time you get protected? Is it seven years? What’s the timeframe of protection or expiration of patents? How does that all work?
Rich Goldstein (26:16):
For a Utility patent, the timeframe is 20 years from when you first apply.
Yoni Mazor (26:21):
So nobody can copy. Nobody can replicate.
Rich Goldstein (26:25):
Exactly. Well then, no one can copy the invention that was embraced by the patent. And you know, that gets a little technical of what is the territory that the patent covers. That’s what I think a lot of entrepreneurs don’t understand is like a lot of times they’ll talk as if like, that product, it’s got a patent number on it. So you can’t make that product. Well, no, the patent doesn’t cover like just like the product, the patent covers something about the product, some combination of features that were new at the time that they applied for the patent. And that’s what the patent application focused on. It’s like, well, you’re putting A, B, and C together. No one has ever done that before. That’s what the patent Is for.
Yoni Mazor (27:01):
So you’re holding a microphone. If somebody’s listening to this, he’s holding a microphone. So let’s take the microphone as an example, right? So if you see a microphone that says patent or number on it doesn’t mean that you cannot make a microphone. Now it means that something inside this microphone, that specific brand-specific brand or whatever has something unique inside of it, that component is patented. Not the whole microphone is patented. Therefore, if you wanna make a microphone or you can probably still micro make a microphone, but the way you make it, just check that it’s not being in any components or functions on the microphone are not protected by patent law, Patent number.
Rich Goldstein (27:32):
Well, you need to find out what that patent stands for. Because like, if there was a patent number in this microphone, the patent could be for some circuitry in there, the patent could be for maybe like, there’s something about the way the holes at the top here are configured or like the way that they’re arranged in a pattern that helps the sound propagate better. Then it like, you know, that’s the thing that you can copies. You can prop the way that’s configured.
Yoni Mazor (27:58):
That configuration, that functions by doing anything alternative to it. That it’s your original by all means. You’re good to go on that.
Rich Goldstein (28:06):
But the goal is always that the patent covers the thing that people want about it. So I’ll give if the thing that makes this microphone great is the way that those holes are configured on the top of the microphone. And that’s what the patent covers. Then now your patent is effective at preventing competition.
Yoni Mazor (28:23):
Because on the marketing, sorry, it touches the marketing component where consumers, I want that whole micro, those special holes.
Rich Goldstein (28:30):
I want that. That’s what, that’s the reason I wanna buy the mic. you know other people can’t copy that. Like then they’ll think, well, maybe it’s not worth even bothering the reason, the whole reason they to copy it was because of that. So that’s th