The FIRST Lego League Robotics Challenge is happening tomorrow (12 Jan 2008). This got me thinking about Lego's Mindstorms, wondering if I should ask Jessica to sell me hers, seeing what the price is on eBay, Googling Lego and Mindstorms stuff, and ending up at LEGO Engineering Symposium hosted at Tuft's this week. This took me to Googling the presenters which took me to patent EP 1 011 834 B1 A method of packaging toy building elements. The patent is for bagging the parts of a model by the model's sub-assemblies. I wonder if you can patent putting on your socks before putting on your shoes? Probably not, but how is this more obvious than bagging parts by sub-assembly?
I hate to pick on Lego because as far as I am concerned their products are some of the greatest on the planet. And, as a proto-information-designer, their assembly manuals (example) are fantastic. Henry and Owen agree.