So what do I have in common with Thomas Edison? Apparently we are both inventors. While thumbing through some junk mail the other day, I found a letter from the patent and trademark office letting me know that I am now an inventor on patent number 7384380. The patent is for a "Method and System for Detecting and Displaying the Impact of a Blow"and basically boils down to a three part system of embedding sensors in boxing gloves that measure the force of a punch, transmitting the measurements to a computer, and then displaying them.
Now, I hope you note the sarcasm in comparing myself to Edison and even to calling myself an inventor. I don't think the work I did on the system warrants me being called an inventor. The work the others did was truly inventive, but I don't really feel the same way about my contributions. That being said, it is still kind of cool to be named on the patent, and I really do like the work I did and the prospect of that work one day being on ESPN or any of the other big networks is awesome.
I think a more important point to make here is how caught off guard I was with getting the letter saying the patent was issued. Why was I caught off guard? Well, mostly because it has been five and a half years since the patent was submitted. How can it take that long to get a patent issued? It is ridiculous that any process would take that long. I am on my second job since then. I have moved twice. I completely forgot that I was even waiting for the patent to be approved. I don't understand how they could have that much of a backlog and how they couldn't fix the obvious problems with the system.
I hope something can get done to fix the patent system. In the meantime, I will bask in the glory of my new status as inventor extraordinaire (again, please note heavy sarcasm).
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