Eugene Polley, inventor of the wireless remote control has died of natural causes at the age of 96. His 1955 invention called the Flash-Matic forever changed the way consumers would watch television.

His death was announced by the Zenith Electronics Corporation, where he began his career in the stockroom before rising through the engineering ranks.

The wireless remote control used a beam of light directed at sensors on the television to change channels or turn it of. The Flash-Matic remote, which worked like a flashlight, was shaped like a snub-nosed revolver.

Eugene Polley only received a thousand-dollar bonus for his invention, but the device was soon replaced by a more efficient, more enduring and far better-selling wireless remote control, developed by Robert Adler.

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Biotech Patents – Research and development in the life sciences is extremely costly and time-consuming. The pharmaceutical industry provides a good example of the time-scales and funding one needs in order to bring…

International Patent Protection – It is important to note that patents are territorial rights – a patent granted in South Africa can be enforced in South Africa only. However, you may, within 12 months…

Software Patents – Historically, software has been protected primarily through the provisions in the South African Copyright Act. Examples of subject matter for copyright protection of computer programs and mobile apps are…

Requirements for Patent Application – We need a full, detailed technical description of the invention in order to draft a patent specification. If you have a prototype or drawings of your invention…

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Patent Search – It is very important for applicants to do a patent search for similar inventions before applying for protection. A Patent Search will indicate whether your idea or inventions has been patented before. Although novelty can never be determined…

Patent Requirements – Although novelty can never be determined conclusively, an indication of the novelty of your invention may be found by conducting patent and literature searches. South Africa has a so-called…

Patent Costs – A novelty search is conducted prior to filing a Provisional Patent Application to identify potentially novel and/or inventive aspects of an invention in light of what already exists (i.e. the prior art)…

Patent Exclusions –  Anything which consists of a discovery; a scientific theory; a mathematical method; a literary; dramatic, musical or artistic work; or any aesthetic creation; a scheme, rule, or method for performing a mental act…