Truth About Women Inventors


Reader Response to “Don’t Marry Career Women” – Truth About Women Inventors

Truth About Women Inventors
PANDORASBOX123
Regular Contributor
PANDORASBOX123

Until about 1840, only 20 other U.S. patents were issued to women. The inventions related to apparel, tools, cook stoves, and fire places. Patents are the proof of “ownership” of an invention and only the inventor(s) can apply for a patent. In the past, women were not allowed equal rights of property ownership (patents are a form of intellectual property) and many women patented their inventions under their husband’s or father’s names. In the past, women were also prevented from receiving the higher education necessary for inventing. (Unfortunately, some countries in the world today still deny women equal rights and an equal education.)

We will never know all the women who deserve credit for their creative labor, as the Patent and Trademark Office does not require gender, racial, or ethnic identification in patent or trademark applications. Through diligent research and a few educated guesses, we can identify trends in patenting by women. Here are a few highlights of recent statistical analysis to ponder, to celebrate, and to give reason to encourage girls and women to pursue science-, math-, and technology-based courses and careers.

* The women inventor patent share of annually granted U.S. origin patents rose from 2.6 percent in 1977 to 10.3 percent in 1998.
* The majority of the U.S. origin woman-inventor patents are in the chemical technologies.
* In 1996, 11.2 percent of the U.S. origin patent grants which were owned by the Federal Government at the time of grant included a woman inventor.
* In the past 20 years, about 83 percent of the U.S. origin patent grants to women were for utility patents, 16.5 percent for design patents, and 0.5 for plant patents.
* About 35 percent of the U.S. origin women inventors patents granted during the 1977 to 1996 period originated from California, New York, or New Jersey.

Today, hundreds of thousands of women apply for and receive a patent every year. So the real answer to the question “how many women inventors are there?” is more than you can count and growing. About 20% of all inventors are currently female and that number should quickly rise to 50% over the next generation.

09-02-2006 10:27 PM

Re: Truth About Women Inventors
Termi0n
Regular Contributor
Termi0n

What are they inventing? How will it benefit society? Who cares?

Women want fried ice. -Arab Proverb

09-02-2006 10:37 PM

Re: Truth About Women Inventors
Jet_Jaguar
Contributor
Jet_Jaguar

The real question is, how many of those patents are for items that actually matter?  Items that are of historic note, change the way we live and make life better for humanity?  A lot of men in the past got patents too for a lot of worthless garbage that did nothing for humanity.  So what?

09-02-2006 10:38 PM

Re: Truth About Women Inventors
PANDORASBOX123
Regular Contributor
PANDORASBOX123

Silver Screen superstar Hedy Lamarr (Hedwig Kiesler Markey) with the help of composer George Antheil invented a secret communication system in an effort to help the allies defeat the Germans in World War II. The invention, patented in 1941, manipulated radio frequencies between transmission and reception to develop an unbreakable code so that top-secret messages could not be intercepted.
In 1845, Sarah Mather received a patent for the invention of a submarine telescope and lamp. This was a remarkable device that permitted sea-going vessels to survey the depths of the ocean.
Chicago’s Columbian Exposition in 1893 also included a Woman’s Building. A unique safety elevator invented by multi-patent holder Harriet Tracy and a device for lifting and transporting invalids invented by Sarah Sands were among the many items featured at this event.
Katherine Blodgett (1898-1979) was a woman of many firsts. She was the first female scientist hired by General Electric’s Research Laboratory in Schenectady, New York (1917) as well as the first woman to earn a Ph.D. in Physics from Cambridge University (1926). Blodgett’s research on monomolecular coatings with Nobel Prize winning Dr. Irving Langmuir led her to a revolutionary discovery. She discovered a way to apply the coatings layer by layer to glass and metal. The thin films, which naturally reduced glare on reflective surfaces, when layered to a certain thickness, would completely cancel out the reflection from the surface underneath. This resulted in the world’s first 100% transparent or invisible glass. Blodgett’s patented film and process (1938) has been used for many purposes including limiting distortion in eyeglasses, microscopes, telescopes, camera and projector lenses.
Grace Hopper (1906-1992) was one of the first programmers to transform large digital computers from oversized calculators into relatively intelligent machines capable of understanding “human” instructions. Hopper developed a common language with which computers could communicate called Common Business-Oriented Language or COBOL, now the most widely used computer business language in the world. In addition to many other firsts, Hopper was the first woman to graduate from Yale University with a Ph.D. in Mathematics, and in 1985, was the first woman ever to reach the rank of admiral in the US Navy. Hopper’s work was never patented; her contributions were made before computer software technology was even considered a “patentable” field.
Hazen and Rachel Brown combined their efforts to develop the anti-fungal antibiotic drug Nystatin. The drug, patented in 1957 was used to cure many disfiguring, disabling fungal infections as well as to balance the effect of many antibacterial drugs. In addition to human ailments, the drug has been used to treat such problems as Dutch Elm’s disease and to restore water-damaged artwork from the effects of mold.

The two scientists donated the royalties from their invention, over $13 million dollars, to the nonprofit Research Corporation for the advancement of academic scientific study. Hazen and Brown were inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 1994Gertrude B. Elion patented the leukemia-fighting drug 6-mercaptopurine in 1954 and has made a number of significant contributions to the medical field. Dr. Elion’s research led to the development of Imuran, a drug that aids the body in accepting transplanted organs, and Zovirax, a drug used to fight herpes. Including 6-mercaptopurine, Elion’s name is attached to some 45 patents. In 1988 she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine with George Hitchings and Sir James Black. In retirement, Dr. Elion, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1991, continues to be an advocate for medical and scientific advancement. Stephanie Louise Kwolek’s research with high performance chemical compounds for the DuPont Company led to the development of a synthetic material called Kevlar which is five times stronger than the same weight of steel. Kevlar, patented by Kwolek in 1966, does not rust nor corrode and is extremely lightweight. Many police officers owe their lives to Stephanie Kwolek, for Kevlar is the material used in bullet proof vests. Other applications of the compound include underwater cables, brake linings, space vehicles, boats, parachutes, skis, and building materials. Valerie Thomas received a patent in 1980 for inventing an illusion transmitter. This futuristic invention extends the idea of television, with its images located flatly behind a screen, to having three dimensional projections appear as though they were right in your living room. Perhaps in the not-so-distant future, the illusion transmitter will be as popular as the TV is today. Barbara Askins, a former teacher and mother, who waited until after her two children entered school to complete her B. S. in chemistry followed by a Master’s degree in the same field, developed a totally new way of processing film. Askins was hired in 1975 by NASA to find a better way to develop astronomical and geological pictures taken by researchers. Until Askins’ discovery, these images, while containing valuable information, were hardly visible. In 1978 Askins patented a method of enhancing the pictures using radioactive materials. The process was so successful that its uses were expanded beyond NASA research to improvements in X-ray technology and in the restoration of old pictures. Barbara Askins was named National Inventor of the Year in 1978. Barbara Askins, a former teacher and mother, who waited until after her two children entered school to complete her B. S. in chemistry followed by a Master’s degree in the same field, developed a totally new way of processing film. Askins was hired in 1975 by NASA to find a better way to develop astronomical and geological pictures taken by researchers. Until Askins’ discovery, these images, while containing valuable information, were hardly visible. In 1978 Askins patented a method of enhancing the pictures using radioactive materials. The process was so successful that its uses were expanded beyond NASA research to improvements in X-ray technology and in the restoration of old pictures. Barbara Askins was named National Inventor of the Year in 1978. Ann Tsukamoto is co-patenter of a process to isolate the human stem cell; the patent for this process was awarded in 1991. Stem cells are located in bone marrow and serve as the foundation for the growth of red and white blood cells. Understanding how stem cells grow or how they might be artificially reproduced is vital to cancer research. Tsukamoto’s work has led to great advancements in comprehending the blood systems of cancer patients and may one day lead to a cure for the disease. She is currently directing further research in the areas of stem cell growth and cellular biology. Betty M. Rozier and Lisa M. Vallino, a mother and daughter team, invented an intravenous catheter shield to make the use of IVs in hospitals safer and easier. The computer-mouse shaped, polyethylene shield covers the site on a patient where an intravenous needle has been inserted. The “IV House” prevents the needle from being accidentally dislodged and minimizes its exposure to patient tampering. Rozier and Vallino received their patent in 1993. …..AND THE LIST GOES ON AND ON……

09-02-2006 10:39 PM

Re: Truth About Women Inventors
Jet_Jaguar
Contributor
Jet_Jaguar

Now we’re getting somewhere.

09-02-2006 10:40 PM

Re: Truth About Women Inventors
PANDORASBOX123
Regular Contributor
PANDORASBOX123

Jet—I’m taking that as a complement…..See we aren’t that bad.  I can post hundreds more……..

09-02-2006 10:41 PM

Re: Truth About Women Inventors
Jet_Jaguar
Contributor
Jet_Jaguar

Well, I’ve never been one to diminish women’s accomplishments.  I, for one, never claimed to believe that men, on the average, were any smarter than women, on the average. I think the only thing that can be accurately said about male intelligence in general is that the bell curve for it is much wider than for women – there are more men at both extremes, both geniuses and idiots.  This helps to explain why there are more men in jail, and why there are, and have been, a greater number of male genuises.

The point is, women are capable of genius. Genius is no different than any other part of the body, it atrophies when it is in disuse. While there are some men who fear intelligent women, there are other women who are not intelligent who manipulate other women into believing a man does not want an intelligent woman. It’s not men that’s keeping them down, it’s erroneous beliefs and other women that are doing it.

When it’s a lot easier to acquire wealth through marriage, what point does acquiring knowledge and being industrious serve? The ends usually justify the means with most humans.

I buy the whole ‘women have contributed nothing important’ argument as much as I buy the “all men are rapists, sexists, and peni$’ with appendages” argument. I think intellectually, the playing field was, is, and always will be level. Not as far as collegiate admissions, but in terms of natural brain power, ability to think, capacity for acquiring knowledge. It’s in places like government, laws, judicial system, mass-media, among others that the field is vastly tilted in the female’s favor.

09-02-2006 10:54 PM

Re: Truth About Women Inventors
PANDORASBOX123
Regular Contributor
PANDORASBOX123

Jet–I like what you wrote–well done you!

09-02-2006 10:56 PM

Re: Truth About Women Inventors
PANDORASBOX123
Regular Contributor
PANDORASBOX123

In 1870, Eliza Murfey patented 16 devices for improving the packing of journals and bearings for railroad-car axles. These packings were used to lubricate the axles with oil which reduced derailments caused by seized axles and bearings. In 1879, Mary Walton developed a method of deflecting smoke stack emissions through water tanks and later adapted the system for use on locomotives. In the 1880s, many cities developed a mass transit system using noisy elevated trains. To reduce the noise, Walton invented a sound-dampening system that cradled the track in a wooden box lined with cotton and then filled with sand. She received a patent for the system on February 8, 1881, and later sold the rights to the Metropolitan Railroad of New York City. Other inventions by women included a railway crossing gate by Mary I. Riggin and several patents for the construction of railway tracks by Catherine L. Gibbon. ….Some interesting women inventors regarding the railroads…….

09-02-2006 11:06 PM

Re: Truth About Women Inventors
PatriarchVerlch
Regular Contributor
PatriarchVerlch

The truth is women have always been riding our coat tails. Then once everything is safe they try to take all the credit.

There are 6 million patentents at the patent office. So far I have seen about 40 ones worth talking about. There are a few thousand other ones, but they are mainly for pesticides and other tinkering with chemicals.

The truth of the matter is, if society was left up to women to build, we would be living in very organized caves.

Equal rights shouldn’t mean unequal privilege.

Women have been proving for the last 30 years that men have been right for the last 30 centuries!
http://www.verlch.blogspot.com

09-02-2006 11:06 PM

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Reader Response to “Don’t Marry Career Women” – Truth About Women Inventors

Re: Truth About Women Inventors
PANDORASBOX123
Regular Contributor
PANDORASBOX123

Pat–you just can’t take it can you?  It relaly bothers you that there are infamous women inventors and the numbers are growing…..No matter waht you say—facts are facts.

09-02-2006 11:17 PM

Re: Truth About Women Inventors
Termi0n
Regular Contributor
Termi0n

PANDORASBOX123 wrote:
Pat–you just can’t take it can you?  It relaly bothers you that there are infamous women inventors and the numbers are growing…..No matter waht you say—facts are facts.

“Infamous.” Oh no we better watch out. Or we’ll face the wrath of the flat-bottomed paper bag ladies!

Ya you can invent things. Men invented society.

Women want fried ice. -Arab Proverb

09-02-2006 11:26 PM

Re: Truth About Women Inventors
crella
Regular Contributor
crella
‘Katherine Blodgett (1898-1979) was a woman of many firsts. She was the first female scientist hired by General Electric’s Research Laboratory in Schenectady, New York (1917) as well as the first woman to earn a Ph.D. in Physics from Cambridge University (1926). ‘

That was a good list, Pandora. This is not directed at you, I just wanted to make a small point here–

In general in the media all kinds of phrases are used to elaborate how tough women have it ‘glass ceiling’ ‘male-dominated field of(whatever)’and of course most young feminist bloggers espouse the idea that women were never allowed to do anything but make babies and cook. On the other hand, if we look at a list of women’s accomplishments, we see that they contributed to society in big ways well over 100 years before 60s feminism.

I always wonder how femnists can ignore women’s major accomplishments of the past and continue to say that American women are oppressed…

09-03-2006 02:10 AM

Re: Truth About Women Inventors
Doc_Savage
Regular Contributor
Doc_Savage

crella wrote:
In general in the media all kinds of phrases are used to elaborate how tough women have it ‘glass ceiling’ ‘male-dominated field of(whatever)’and of course most young feminist bloggers espouse the idea that women were never allowed to do anything but make babies and cook. On the other hand, if we look at a list of women’s accomplishments, we see that they contributed to society in big ways well over 100 years before 60s feminism.

I always wonder how femnists can ignore women’s major accomplishments of the past and continue to say that American women are oppressed…

Great point Crella!

Back in the 80’s as a keen music fan (I used to buy all three music weekly’s at one point) I noticed that every once in a while a woman would burst on to the scene and claim she was breaking down the walls of the male dominated music business and was showing women everywhere they could do it too. Even Banarama claimed something similiar in a interview I saw a few years ago and they were a manufactured (by a man) pop group fer chrissakes.

I used to think what a cheek it was. There have always been high profile women in popular and rock music. Obviously not as great in numbers as men but still selling lots of records. Janice Joplin, Joan Baez, Joanie Mitchell and the list goes on. Tucked away from the spotlight you had Carol Kaye. She was a multi-instrumentalist and first call studio muso for Phil Spector among others. She played on so many hits its not funny. Plus she was always getting credit from mostly male bass players in the 70’s and 80’s for the great series of bass tutor books she wrote. I  could go on but you get the picture.

Were those women boasting they were breaking through the “glass ceiling” totally ignorant of recent music history or just selectively ignoring the facts because it made them feel like trail blazers?

09-03-2006 06:42 AM

Re: Truth About Women Inventors
crella
Regular Contributor
crella
Thank you, Doc. Someone gave me this quote this week–

‘Adela Rogers St.John noted something early on about feminism;
The Modern Woman is the curse of the universe, a disaster, that’s what. She thinks that before her arrival on the scene no woman ever did anything worthwhile before. No woman was ever liberated until her time. No woman really amounted to anything.”‘

Their attitude spits on the memories of their grandmothers.

09-03-2006 08:28 AM

Re: Truth About Women Inventors
PANDORASBOX123
Regular Contributor
PANDORASBOX123

Nice point Crella—I put the list up because a contributor on this site, Patriarch or something like that, said we didn’t have any real women inventors….or that women didn’t invent any machines with moving parts.  I was just pointing this out to him.  His response was…..basically it was a lie and that these women were riding on the coat tails of men.  The article also pointed out that we will never truly know how many feamle inventors of the past we had because, in the old days, women had to use their husband’s or father’s name on the patents due to sexism….

09-03-2006 10:29 AM

Re: Truth About Women Inventors
aldarris
Contributor
aldarris
I can’t believe my eyes. Someone actually came up not only with excuses, but with results as well.

However, with the affirmative actions, positive discriminations, ritalin and other factors that make the playing field in favor of women

* The women inventor patent share of annually granted U.S. origin patents rose from 2.6 percent in 1977 to 10.3 percent in 1998.
* The majority of the U.S. origin woman-inventor patents are in the chemical technologies.
* In 1996, 11.2 percent of the U.S. origin patent grants which were owned by the Federal Government at the time of grant included a woman inventor.
* In the past 20 years, about 83 percent of the U.S. origin patent grants to women were for utility patents, 16.5 percent for design patents, and 0.5 for plant patents.
* About 35 percent of the U.S. origin women inventors patents granted during the 1977 to 1996 period originated from California, New York, or New Jersey.

What a terrible waste of resources. Which could have been directed to placing a man on Mars, for example.
Yet you want more:

About 20% of all inventors are currently female and that number should quickly rise to 50% over the next generation.

For the sole reason of self-assertion you seek to wreck serious damages to humanity as a whole. This is level of maturity lower even that that of a teenager.

09-03-2006 12:46 PM

Re: Truth About Women Inventors
Doc_Savage
Regular Contributor
Doc_Savage

aldarris wrote:

What a terrible waste of resources. Which could have been directed to placing a man on Mars, for example.
Yet you want more:

About 20% of all inventors are currently female and that number should quickly rise to 50% over the next generation.

For the sole reason of self-assertion you seek to wreck serious damages to humanity as a whole. This is level of maturity lower even that that of a teenager.

Is this a joke of some sort or are you serious?

It doesn’t matter whether your male or female. If you invent something then you can apply for a patent.

09-03-2006 02:24 PM

Re: Truth About Women Inventors
PatriarchVerlch
Regular Contributor
PatriarchVerlch

What are they inventing? That is so important? Where do you get these stats, from the 50% of all men are wife beaters human resources department?

95% of all Nobel peace prize winners are men. I suppose we should dumb that down for the sake of equality. Or should we just give them to women for the sake of self image, or just give the award to the best?

I’m still trying to access the so called woman inventor and the success of their inventions. Part of inventing something.

All a patent costs would be about 5,000. What matters is the $$$ you can make with your invention. The light bulb I am sure made some good $$$. The car, the train, the plane, the rocket, all I’m sure profited from their inventors millions or billions.

Just because your an inventor of a part that helps make the train a little better, doesn’t mean you invented the train.

Women have been proving for the last 30 years that men have been right for the last 30 centuries!
http://www.verlch.blogspot.com

09-03-2006 02:40 PM

Re: Truth About Women Inventors
aldarris
Contributor
aldarris
Joke?
Ok, let me explain in more details and with analogies…

So, we have a business A. With annual expences of $100 and revenues of $150.
Business B. Expences of 120 and revenues of 130.

What would you rather support? Of course you would choose A.

Returning to the subject. Some women claim they are equal. They couldn’t show it because they weren’t given a chance.
Well, now they have a chance. They have better chances than men with all the positive discrimination.

Now note, that, for example, for each woman receiving a scholarship, money have to be not spent elsewhere.
Question — is it worth it? Look at the results. Of course not. Mismanagement of resources on all levels hurts everyone.
Yet some want something they call fairness. It is just another of those ill-defined concepts, which can not be implemented, for everyone defines them differently, but when one does fairness, one feels good about oneself. That is what was meant by reference to self-assertion.

09-03-2006 02:50 PM

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Reader Response to “Don’t Marry Career Women” – Truth About Women Inventors

Re: Truth About Women Inventors
aldarris
Contributor
aldarris
What are they inventing? That is so important? Where do you get these stats, from the 50% of all men are wife beaters human resources department?

Don’t you think you should not overdo it?
Surely you have heard of, and used kevlar?

09-03-2006 02:53 PM

Re: Truth About Women Inventors
Doc_Savage
Regular Contributor
Doc_Savage

aldarris wrote:

Joke?
Ok, let me explain in more details and with analogies…

So, we have a business A. With annual expences of $100 and revenues of $150.
Business B. Expences of 120 and revenues of 130.

What would you rather support? Of course you would choose A.
.

What has that got to do with inventions or the inventors?

aldarris wrote:

Returning to the subject. Some women claim they are equal. They couldn’t show it because they weren’t given a chance.
Well, now they have a chance. They have better chances than men with all the positive discrimination.

Now note, that, for example, for each woman receiving a scholarship, money have to be not spent elsewhere.
Question — is it worth it? Look at the results. Of course not. Mismanagement of resources on all levels hurts everyone.
Yet some want something they call fairness. It is just another of those ill-defined concepts, which can not be implemented, for everyone defines them differently, but when one does fairness, one feels good about oneself. That is what was meant by reference to self-assertion.

I think you maybe talking about the education system disempowering males rather than empowering females. And although related it’s still a different topic to me.

09-03-2006 03:12 PM

Re: Truth About Women Inventors
aldarris
Contributor
aldarris
What has that got to do with inventions or the inventors?

Just an analogy to emphasize that inventors and inventions, likewise, differ in price and quality. That one does not want to spend time and everything else associated with it to educate in field of physics a person that has no abilities for science. That you want to choose the best people to educate. Based on their abilities, present and future, not their gender. Which is what positive discrimination in contemporary society is about.

I think you maybe talking about the education system disempowering males rather than empowering females. And although related it’s still a different topic to me.

Empowering is way to vague of a concept. I prefer to talk about things one can see and measure…

There was an example brought up on this board. At some university there was an attempt to get women into video game design. A scholarship was given to noone, because no woman has applied, but if one has, she would be favored over a man, despite the fact that amount of women in game design is a good indicator of their abilities in this field.

This is what I talk about. That is what I ask about — why spend money here, when they could be better spent elsewhere.

09-03-2006 03:26 PM

Re: Truth About Women Inventors
Doc_Savage
Regular Contributor
Doc_Savage

Sorry dude but I’m having a hard time understanding you.

Women are not taking mens places in the fields of hard science so I dont presume we’ll be seeing that many more inventions from them.

But there is nothing to stop anyone with a basic education and an aptitude for inventing things from doing so. Take a look at this page:

http://www.alternativescience.com/flame-proof.htm

This is what I took to be the most important paragraphs:

“ICI’s own paints laboratory held an internal audit and what they found puts this claim in an entirely different light. For the audit showed that the most scientifically qualified of its research chemists had contributed to the least number of patents, and the fewer scientific qualifications the staff possessed, the greater the number of patents they had contributed to. In the most striking case of all, the person who had contributed to most ICI’s patents had no scientific qualifications at all.

It seems that Maurice Ward’s greatest strength as a researcher was that he had not been taught how to think.”

09-03-2006 04:59 PM

Re: Truth About Women Inventors
pandorasbox321
Visitor
pandorasbox321

What are they inventing? That is so important? Where do you get these stats,

The same place you get yours, Free.

09-04-2006 10:32 AM

Re: Truth About Women Inventors
Diogetrix
Regular Contributor
Diogetrix

Usually, when the point of a discussion seems to get lost, I suspect there is an effort, conscious or unconscious, to avoid that point. To elaborate: After fifty years of devoted love of the arts, I have concluded that the greatest musician of the past whose recordings make them accessable, or of my generation, was Wanda Landowska. It still astounds me that anyone, male or female, could have such superior talent for interpreting the music of Bach, Scarlotti, and others.She dedicated her life to making music, inovations in interpretation, teaching, developing (inventing, if you like) an instrument capable of producing the artistic result that she intended. I do not know why she married, that is, if it was a romantic marriage or a business arangement, but I know that she tired of her husbands sexual demands, or he tired of her, and she found a live in “housemaid” to take over that part of the marriage. After her husband was killed in an auto accident she did not remarry, and never had a child. I would not want to remake reality and have Madam Landowska lead the life of a dull witted but devoted wife and mother. But, if I should choose to marry a dull witted but devoted woman, I don’t want any feminsts to charge in and try to save her from me, or me from her. I don’t want the govenment to probe our lives for possible abuse when the motives for scrutinizing our personal lives is the neurotic obsessions of hysterical females driving an all too willing repressive government bureaucracy. I dont want the wealth of our nation, or my personal contribution to it used in the service of a self-interested political movement that is seeking to remake the most intimate social relationships according to ideology. If you want to preach the necessity of feminizing the world, and forcing men to live according to your vision of some egalitarian new order, why don’t you just tell us what is really bothering you about men? Surely, it isn’t that men have had a better opportunity to register patents. What could possibly hurt you if I have a roaring good sexual romp every night with a partner who looks like Vivian Woo and who doesn’t think having an orgasm will make her feel used and vulnerable? Is it me that you feel you are missing out on, or my partner? What’s going on in your life that is so difficult to talk about that you fly off into diatribes about patents?

09-05-2006 07:40 AM

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