For Sale: Great Ideas, Barely Used gives companies a place to market their patents

A high-tech fiber that can stretch up to six times its original length, Lycra is the magical material that has given the world the miracle of Spandex. Invented by DuPont scientists in 1958, Lycra is adored by millions of joggers, swimmers, and heavy-metal guitarists and has produced billions in revenues for the company. Yet in spite of this success, Ben du Pont, former global-development manager for Lycra, always believed the company's patented technology had dozens of uses well beyond cycling shorts and sports bras.

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