"Among the auction sites burgeoning on the Web, Priceline.com is an early trendsetter. Its business of liquidating unsold airline seats and hotel rooms by letting travelers make low-ball bids online has pushed the company to a market valuation of $10 billion. To ensure a robust patent portfolio for his site, Priceline.com founder and vice chairman Jay Walker set up a think tank, Walker Digital, staffed with inventors and patent attorneys. Two years after joining the company, Magdalena Mik has her name on 44 pending U.S. patents for Priceline and other e-businesses. Her innovations include the Adaptive Marketing Program, in which Priceline adds a dollar amount to a customer’s offer as a reward for an agreement to sign up for a credit card or some other service. Mik’s latest e-brainstorm: a system enabling online shoppers to name the price they are willing to pay for merchandise, which they would pick up from a participating retailer. Mik came to Walker Digital after receiving a BS in chemistry and completing one semester of law school (she’s officially on a leave of absence). Though Polish is her native tongue ,this immigrant to the United States at age 8 is fluent in commerce. She recently told Forbes that her inspiration was ""the thought of being obscenely wealthy by the time I’m 30."