My Story: Bob Rutan, Inventor of RemZzzs™

My Story: Bob Rutan, Inventor of RemZzzs™

by Bob Rutan, February 2010

Two and a half years ago my wife was diagnosed with OSA (obstructive sleep apnea). The doctor gave her a mask to wear at night so she could sleep. But the mask didn't work for her—it didn't fit securely enough around her face.

So my wife and I returned to the doctor asking for help. He said it was the only option, even if it didn't work perfectly. I decided that day that I was going to come up with a better solution.

I didn't know what it was or how to fix it, but I didn't give up. I told my wife ‘There's got to be an answer.' And one night, while she was crying in her struggle to sleep, it hit me. If I created a piece of material to put between her face and the mask, it could solve the problem and enable my wife to sleep all night. It worked.

When we returned to her doctor after three weeks and told him that she was sleeping, he was amazed and asked, “How?” I explained my invention and how it fixed the problem.

Then, we decided to get a patent for it. Not knowing how to patent it, we contacted an attorney. We almost gave up because it was going to be too expensive. About that same time, my son called. I told him what happened and he recommended LegalZoom.

So, we went to and were able to get a provisional patent and sell our product almost immediately. The provisional patent gave us a head start, enabling us to sell our product for 12 full months before filing a non-provisional patent.

Even then, the coolest thing was that we did use attorneys to file the full patent, and they said they had never seen such a well-written provisional patent as the one we created through LegalZoom. We also got our trademark through LegalZoom.

Today, our REMZzzs CPAP Sleep Mask Liners are being sold in 13 countries, and my wife is sleeping all night.

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