A Plea For The Solo Inventor

Gazing out over Lake Tahoe from the deck of his mountainside cabin, Jerome H. Lemelson offers a bittersweet assessment of his 40 years as an independent inventor. In 1992, he reaped a huge payoff: His 500-odd patents earned more than $200 million in royalties from makers of computers, cars, consumer electronics, and industrial equipment. The contrast with his income just a few years ago, he says, "is like night and day."

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