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Did the “inventor” of the fidget spinner really miss out on a fortune?

SpinnerFidget devices are everywhere. My own kids have somehow acquired at least two variants including the fidget cube and the fidget spinner. Recently the explosion in popularity of these toys has been accompanied by a series of news articles (The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The New York Times) focusing on the inventor of the spinner,  Catherine A. Hettinger, a small time inventor who, as the story goes, missed out on a huge payday because she couldn’t afford the renewal fee on her patent for the spinner toy.

This story seems to have caught the imagination of the public (or at least the press) with its story of the lone inventor who was cut off from the success that followed.

Only, it seems to IPcopy that this story is misleading, “fake news” to use the terminology of the moment, since the patent arguably doesn’t cover the fidget spinner device and would not have lasted this long under any circumstances…. (more…)