On 11 Nov I mentioned the Lemelson Center at the Smithsonian which was made possible by a generous grant from a charity founded by the late Jerome Lemelson, one of the most successful independent inventors ever. In the post, I remarked that Mr Lemelson managed to accumulate a substantial fortune despite being involved in 20 law suits. I have just learned that those law suits have continued years after the great man's death and that the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (the specialist appeal court for IP cases in the USA) invalidated yesterday 14 of his patents for unwarranted delays in prosecuting his applications (see "Patents: Lemelson in the News Again" in my IP/it-Update blog).
I thought of Lemelson yesterday when Terry Singleton and Clayton Roudette (winners of the University of Manchester Incubator Company inventors competition) gave their presentations to the Leeds Inventors Group. This was one of the most stimulating evenings ever and we also had one of our best crowds. They made no bones of the fact that invention and commercializing their inventions had not been easy for them, but what came over from their talks was that invention can be fun. In the questions and answers that followed several members of the audience requested a brainstorming meeting where inventors and others could share their advice and experience. Ideas NW (Blackburn inventors' group) has just had a successful evening on those lines on 20 Oct and the Manchester group is going to try one in the Central Library at 6pm on 6 Dec 2005. Accordingly, we have resolved to run one in Leeds on 18 Jan 2006.
One of the reasons why we were particularly pleased Clayton is that he had come all the way from Poulton-le-Fylde and was due to appear at the Business Enterprise eXchange in Manchester today. The programme looks really interesting and will continue until tomorrow when you can catch Terry.
Finally, if anyone has got any energy for the evening. There is a talk at 18:00 tonight by Ray Clark "From Invention to Commercial Success" at Blackburn Technology Management Centre, Challenge Way, Blackburn BB1 5QB. I heard Ray speak in Manchester on 1 Nov 2005 (see "What Inventors can learn from Marketeers" and found his talk very good indeed.