I also wondered if they ever got the patent. I tried it out and it does work.
I did think it would get on my nerves too but its how you wind the wool that makes the difference.
It's like an original go knit pouch and would be perfect for sock knitting on the go =D
I don't intend to use it though - I collect sewing and needle craft paraphernalia - I have a deep love for Sewing Etui's which I started collecting when I was about 10 years old.
I just got a gorgeous little german etui, a pair of scissors that fold up and look like dancing legs and can be worn as a pendant and a copleys Knit Clip (another old invention)
Photos to follow =D
Ohh I also found this:
That also looks similar.
The trouble with the old one is you have to re-wind your yarn around the holder. I guess its a great idea but a pita if you have to re-roll a ball of yarn