The November cover story, "Are We Covered? Understand the Strengths and Weeknesses of a Patenting Policy," describes how a detailed laboratory notebook is one of the most valuable assets at an engineer’s disposal when negotiating the pathway to a patent. Other topics include best practices for heat tracing plot plants, cutting agitator power costs and optimizing distillation by designing "green" columns. Also, read about the latest developments in materials, biotechnology, energy and nanotechnology.
On the first day of our visit to Walt Disney World, my then-seven-year-old son got lost in the Magic Kingdom. Luckily, he was somewhere on Tom Sawyer Island, so our search area was limited. On the second day, he wandered off in the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids attraction (also an enclosed space, thankfully).
Those experiences gave me an idea for what I called Kid LoJack — a biocompatible microchip that parents could inject under a baby’s skin, and later activate to locate the child if he or she got lost or kidnapped (or stayed out past curfew). I’ve often wondered — civil liberties issues aside — whether I could have patented such a device.
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