A SPECIAL REPORT: INVENTORS

GREAT MINDS: Thanks to its high-tech industry, Orange County is fertile ground for inventors--the garage-style variety as well as rocket scientists. . . . Newport Beach patent attorney Leonard Tachner's clients have brought in everything from lighted disco shoes (they bombed) to a medical laser device (it sold to Johnson & Johnson for millions). . . . Lately, patent inquiries have been on the upswing, due in part to the recession. Huntington Beach lawyer Michael Collins says layoffs have left many scientifically inclined folks with time on their hands.

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