Patents, Patents and More Patents

We’ve all heard about IBM’s patent leadership and how every year for the last 17th, we’ve topped the list for top patent holders (4,914 in 2009 in case you’re interested).

But what on earth do we actually patent, and are any of them any good?  Well basically, all sorts and yes.

For example, changing your lightbulbs to more efficient ones at home is easy because you only have a few and it’s pretty obvious where they are – but what about if you had to do it for an entire office building, or for a corporation?  Well thankfully, US patent #7,518,715 can help!

Moskowitz and four colleagues have patented a methodology for a device that provides for the “remote inspection of light sources to determine the type of bulbs.”

The detection component can be built into a small, handheld portable device outfitted with wireless capabilities and a laser pointer for ease of use.

What about US patent #7,321,306: A portable, wireless for detecting a child in a car seat.  Yes, I know, but apparently 15 to 25 children die of hyperthermia every year in the United States having been left in a car.

A sample scenario would be that after a set lapse of time, if the child is still detected in the seat, an alarm would sound. Further measures could include rolling down the window after a set period of time; adjusting the air conditioning if the car is running and even dialing 911 if it has a communications system.

Who knew?

Find this, and many more here.


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