Invention licensing expo
An InventHelp invention licensing expo. Courtesy of the company

The San Diego office of InventHelp, an invention service company that offers patent services to inventors, has announced a number of innovations by local residents that have commercial potential.

The company reported in a news release that a Santee inventor has created “Translucent Glass,” a self-adjusting window tint technology that reduces glare and enhances comfort and safety in vehicles and homes. The design is suitable for various applications, including cars, households, businesses, and ships, and can help keep interiors cooler.

“I thought there should be a way for windows to self-adjust to the most appropriate tint level for eye protection and a full glare-free view,” said the inventor. “My design could also make your vehicle or home interior cooler and more comfortable during sunny weather conditions.”

The company said a San Diego inventor has introduced “Hush Candles,” a safer alternative for candle lovers, which incorporate a self-extinguishing feature to mitigate the risk of fire hazards.

And the company also announced that a Riverside County inventor has created what he calls the “Original Sand Stopper” to prevent sand from infiltrating motorhomes. The patent company said the design “blocks wind-blown sand and dirt, enhancing convenience, comfort, and cleanliness while saving time and effort.”

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A recent story in the  weekly La Jolla Light reports that San Diego City Council has OK’d new regulations by the California Coastal Commission that force coastal restaurants to restore parking spaces taken up by outdoor dining areas on the street. This requirement addressed commission concerns about public access to beach areas. Restaurant owners said outdoor dining areas have been a success, so they now worry about restoring the parking spaces.

The new regulations will be implemented in the “beach impact area” and are expected to go into effect by July — pending final details. With the council’s action, coastal businesses are required to secure special two-year permits and pay fees to erect dining structures in the public right of way.

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Chris Thorne, president of the San Diego office of the Gary Sinise Foundation, has been named the new chief executive officer of the North San Diego Business Chamber. Thorne succeeds Debra Rosen, who retires after serving as the chamber‘s top executive for the past 14 years.

The chamber said Thorne’s background in nonprofit leadership, human resources, small business ownership, and military service, made him the ideal choice for the position. According to the chamber website,

Thorne is a 30-year military veteran who helped start a start-up focused on supporting transitioning military personnel and their spouses in achieving successful post military careers.

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Housing payments hit a new high last week as mortgage rates surged because of the uncertainty in Washington over extension of the federal debt ceiling. That’s according to a new report from Redfin, the technology-powered real estate brokerage. With a deal reached between Republicans and Democrats this past weekend, rates are expected to start moderating this week.

Daily average rates hit 7.12% on May 25, the highest level since November, Redfin said. The typical U.S. homebuyer’s monthly mortgage payment hit a record-high $2,614 at a 6.57% mortgage rate, the current weekly average.

Drawing on data for the four-week period ending May 21, Redfin found pending home sales fell year-over-year in all 400 metro areas that Redfin analyzed. They declined most in Seattle (-33.1%), San Diego (-32.4%), Portland, OR (-30.5%), Sacramento, CA (-30.3%) and Milwaukee (-30.3%).

New listings also declined in all metros Redfin analyzed for its most recent report. Listings fell the most in Seattle (-41.7%), Las Vegas (-41.5%), San Diego (-39.7%), Oakland (-39.5%) and Anaheim (-38.3%).

Home sellers gave concessions to buyers in 42.9% of U.S. home sales during the three months ending April 30, up from 25.5% a year earlier, according to another report. That’s just shy of the 45.6% record high hit in February.

The highest concessions were in Phoenix (68.5%), San Diego (66.1%), Raleigh (64.6%), Las Vegas (59.1%) and Denver (58.1%). These are all places where homebuying demand skyrocketed during the pandemic and is now waning.

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In related real estate news, S&P Dow Jones Indices releases the latest results for its Case-Shiller Index, viewed by experts as one of the leading measures of U.S. home prices. The March data shows that nationwide housing prices in all 20 major metro markets increased month over month.

Miami, Tampa, and Charlotte reported the highest year-over-year gains among the 20 cities in March. Miami led with a 7.7% year-over-year price increase, followed by Tampa in second with a 4.8% increase, and Charlotte replacing Atlanta in third with a 4.7% increase. San Diego had a 2.5% gain in March over February but was still down 5.3% compared to the same period a year ago.

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San Diego biotech Illumina, which makes gene sequencing machines, says it recently did a “real world” study that found that cancer patients who receive comprehensive genomic testing have better outcomes.

The research, which will be presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s annual meeting in Chicago on June 2-6, shows that CGP can lead to improved survival for cancer patients, according to a news release.

CGP is a type of genetic testing that can identify mutations in a patient’s DNA. These mutations can then be used to target treatment with drugs that are specifically designed to attack the cancer cells.

The research from Illumina found that CGP was associated with significantly higher survival rates in patients with advanced cancer. The study also found that CGP could help to identify patients who are most likely to benefit from targeted therapy.

“These findings are a significant step forward in the fight against cancer,” said Phil Febbo, chief medical officer of Illumina. “CGP can help to identify patients who are most likely to benefit from targeted therapy, and it can also help to guide treatment decisions. We are committed to working with the medical community to make CGP more widely available to cancer patients.”

In its corporate literature, Illumina claims to be a global leader in DNA sequencing and array-based technologies. The company’s products are used in a wide range of applications, including cancer research, clinical diagnostics, and personalized medicine.

The company has been in the news of late because New York corporate raider Carl Icahn has been trying to seize control of the board—and the company. Icahn argues that the current management has mismanaged the company because of a series of failed mergers and has lost tens of billion of dollars in shareholder value as a result.

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Finally, this item of note. Global PR firm LLYC  has acquired local PR firm BAM, which has a focus on venture-backed and established and technology companies. The acquisition accelerates LLYC’s aggressive growth strategy and doubles its size in the U.S., according to a news release. Well-known local tech publicist Rebecca Bamberger owns BAM.

Tom York is a Carlsbad-based independent journalist who specializes in writing about business and the economy. If you have news tips you’d like to share, send them to