Busiest day of the week for patent lawyers
Patent attorney Mark Levy says he gets in to a flurry of calls on Monday mornings from independent inventors of all stripes. They've been sitting in their living rooms and their garages all weekend, he says, and on Monday they get on the phone to try their ideas on someone else.
If you're trying to locate innovation, says Levy, whose office is in downtown Binghamton, New York, it often tends to follow the headlines. His favorite example: proposed 1990 legislation which required headlights go on with New Yorkers' windshield wipers (Levy described this as a recent example...he's been doing this for a while).
The publicity in the leadup to the new rule on headlights inspired a series of proposed gadgets to engineer and fine-tune the connection between lights and wipers.
Levy meets with callers to see if their inventions are viable and whether they might find a ready market.
However, when he looked into existing patents on this issue, Levy found a cluster of the same inventions, all in Florida, where legislation with the same driving requirements had passed, eight years before.
In recent months, Levy has seen a flurry of proposals on capping deepwater oil wells.