Made in Wyoming

Emilio Reyes slowly unzips a small, black leatherbound briefcase and pulls from it four open envelopes from faraway places. The letters inside each offer "Congratulations!" and tell Emilio that people in Miami and California and Texas want to help him help you revolutionize your Christmas.

The little leather case houses the pieces of a growing dream, one that’s been shared by thousands of others here in Wyoming. One by one, Reyes removes his lawyer’s bills from under his overworked calculator. Then, finally, he produces a folder emblazoned with the golden seal of approval from the United States Patent and Trademark Office, a process that took five long years to complete.

Reyes, in the eyes of the federal government, is an inventor.

By CORY MATTESON Star-Tribune staff writer

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Act of creation


"I have an idea, and I want to get it patented."

Dawn Rohan hears that often from visitors to her Wyoming State Library office. Rohan, the state’s intellectual property librarian, says she unfortunately serves as a harbinger of death to the dreams of many.

She breaks bad news to many patrons who’ve wasted money on the 1-800-number commercials that claim to help inventors develop their product and make millions.

"They paid thousands of dollars to scam artists and they think they get a patent, but they don’t," she said.

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