In Memoriam Trevor Baylis: the life-saving wind-up radio and the precarious lot of the sole inventor

There are few more heroic images in the IP world than the sole inventor, assiduously engaged in inventive activity in the privacy of a garage or shed. While the realities of modern-day invention stand in stark contrast to this imagery, there continue to be exceptions. A most notable example was the English inventor Trevor Baylis, he of the seemingly ubiquitous pipe, who passed away on March 5th at the age of 80. The story of Trevor Baylis is a tale of the tensions experienced by sole inventors as they continue to invent– against all the odds. Born and raised in London, the son of an engineer, Baylis was in his youth as much an athlete as a fledging inventor. An accomplished swimmer who competed for Great Britain at the age of 15, he nearly missed being part of the 1936 Olympic team in Berlin. He later worked as a stuntman. Baylis served as an “underwater escape artist’ in Berlin, so successfully that, as quoted by the BBC in his own words, “It was…

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