1. the last two apps i wrote were during work hours for work tasks, so the intellectual property belongs to work and we have patented them
Keep in mind that for this challenge we are not asking for any exclusivity or intellectual property rights. in fact we never have for any of our contests or challenges - this site is not trying to own the rights for anyone's hard work! you write it, you own it!
It's just more of an attempt to get a bunch of people to release some brand new freeware/donationware all at the same time on Jan 1, 2007, and *announce* it as part of N.A.N.Y. project. You could even still keep the software on your own website, with just links back and forth.
But you might be saying that you can't make your programs available free to the public, which is a different matter of course.
I'm sure people here can help brainstorm some new good ideas (or chat in the irc channel to think up some).