NICEE 2018 Inventors Win Patent Application Awards

June 7, 2018

One of the coolest things we get to do – and almost everything we do is cool, so that’s saying something – at our annual National Invention Convention and Entrepreneurship Expo (NICEE) is to help some of our young inventors take their inventions to the next level by going through the process of submitting a patent application.

We’re very lucky to have two great sponsors in two of the nation’s leading patent and intellectual property law firms:  new sponsor WilmerHale and returning sponsor Cantor Colburn . These firms are providing pro bono legal assistance to the winners of the NICEE Patent Application Award, including patent search, patent filing, and prosecution of a patent application.

Winners of this award were chosen from amongst the NICEE 2018 entrants – chosen by WilmerHale and Cantor Colburn representatives outside of the normal NICEE judging process. Their judging process differed from the “normal” judging process in that these judges went beyond our usual judging methodology and focused additionally – and specifically – on the patentability of the young inventor’s inventions. In the opinion of these judges, the awardees not only met and exceeded the high standards of NICEE judging, they also created inventions which were likely to receive patent protection!

We had a record seven (!) Patent Application Award recipients this year at NICEE2018, as follows:

Cantor Colburn sponsored an award for Sai Vipparla, and 11thgrader from Milford CT,  for his Petsthetic. The Petshetic in an innovative and affordable 3D printed prosthetic for pets suffering from cancer or other aliments which cause the loss of a limb. Sai’s invention can be made in far less time and for a fraction of the cost of traditional pet prosthetics.

WilmerHale sponsored an award for Sidharth Anantha, a 10thgrader from Lexington MA, for his Seeing for the Blind. This invention combines sonar with an Arduino processor in glasses or shoes, to provide obstacle distance awareness for those with significant vision impairments.

Another Patent Application Award from WilmerHale was given to Ben Kiefaber, a 7thgrader from Ridgefield CT. His Rear-Ender Defender is designed to help prevent “rear-render” automotive accidents by providing enhanced brake light signaling based upon the intensity of braking. Ben was motivated to build this invention after a pair of family friends were involved in serious accidents.

Audrey Larson, a 9th grader from Wallingford, CT invented the Safe K.I.D.S. system, for which she was granted a Patent Application Award by WilmerHale. Audrey lives not far from the scene of the Newton school shooting tragedy, and that memory motivated her develop Safe K.I.D.S., a “foldable bulletproof panel designed to protect students and teachers from an active shooter.” Audrey was recently featured in The New Yorker magazine for this invention – one of her many.

Sophia Hernandez, Ariana Islam, Sarayu Reddy, 7th graders from Alpharetta, GA, were awarded a Patent Application Award from WilmerHale for the Water Heater Sensor. This invention is designed to prevent leakage accidents in home water heaters by providing a sensor and alerting system which monitors the status of the heater’s sacrificial anode and lets home-owners know when it has been depleted – before corrosion causes a leak or failure.

WilmerHale also awarded a Patent Application Award to Julian Kage, an 8th grader from Glastonbury CT. His invention, Quick Lyme, is designed to rapidly test ticks for Lyme bacteria, so people who have been bitten by a tick can determine immediately if they have an elevated Lyme Disease risk – whereas current testing takes as long as two weeks.

WilmerHale’s final Patent Application Award went to Riley Shove, a 3rd grader from Manchester CT. Riley’s invention, Cool Cast will be a life-saver for anyone who finds themselves in a cast. Riley used her own experience wearing a cast to design a cooling system that brings temperature relief for the affected area.

We wish happy patent-hunting to all of these awardees and would like to offer our profound thanks to WilmerHale and Canter Colburn for their continued support.



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