From what I can tell, Michelle O. Edens is a Dallas attorney. And as of today, she's also most definitely the holder of a United States patent, along with Frisco's Ronald Burns. Says the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, Edens and Burns have invented ... wait, this can't be right ... a paper-clip dispenser? Hunh. But that's what it says. As in:
The present invention provides a versatile system for storing and dispensing paper clips in an easy and economical manner. The system of the present invention provides one at a time paper clip dispensing from a manual system. The present invention requires minimal effort to load and dispense paper clips.
A user pours or places a supply of paper clips into a storage compartment (e.g., hopper, bin)--one that is able to store a relatively large number of paper clips. When a paper clip is needed, the user activates an actuating mechanism (e.g., a push button, a lever) and a single paper clip is retrieved from the storage compartment and delivered to a receptacle. The user retrieves the single paper clip from the receptacle quickly and easily, and the system is immediately ready to dispense another paper clip.
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In related inventor news, a few guys from Texas Instruments came up with a "system for reducing row periphery power consumption in memory devices." Some local Nortel geniuses got them a patent for an "overload control system and method for a telecommunications system." And David Hoffman of Dallas and a man from Waco got themselves a patent for "the ornamental design for a therapeutic thermal pack." I've just patented this blog item. And my pants. --Robert Wilonsky