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Why Don't You Come Up and Check Out My Patents

Amos E. Joel, Jr., who invented the technology that enables mobile phones to move from one calling region to another without dropping the call, died last Saturday. Though his patent first appeared publicly 36 years ago, it is singularly responsible for what will be the most transformative technology of the 21st century.

According to his New York Times obituary, Mr. Joel, who collected and studied patents in college, also created the greatest pickup line in technology history when, on a blind date, he asked his eventual wife up to his room to look at his patents. As their daughter recalled: "She thought patents was a code name for something else. What she didn’t realize is that our father always had a lifelong fascination with patents."

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