Ohio Invention League Student Damian Earley Awarded Patent for The Garbage Lot

  • April 11, 2023
Damian Earley with Garbage Lot Invention

Pictured: Damian Earley poses with his invention poster board and a prototype models of The Garbage Lot, Photo courtesy of the Earley family.

Damian Earley, an Ohio Invention League student, recently received a patent for his invention, The Garbage Lot, a pedestal that latches to the axle of a garbage bin, preventing it from tipping over.

Damian, a longtime Invention Convention participant, has been inventing since second grade. Throughout his time as an inventor, Damian has created a wide variety of inventions including:

  • Drone D. Medi. Deliverer - A drone network to deliver prescriptions to people’s doors.
  • Dog Butler - A device that takes care of pets when their owner is away.
  • OctGlove - A glove that helps people with small hands or disabilities reach farther keys on a piano.

“I first started inventing when I was in second grade. I would just put together random objects and try to make them into contraptions,” says Damian about his invention journey, “I heard of Invention Convention when they came to my elementary school. I got really excited and decided to participate the following year, in third grade. I participated again in the years after that, and it became something really big in my life.”

Damian’s experience as an inventor leveled up in 2020, when, as an eighth grader, Damian invented The Garbage Lot after noticing how garbage bins near his home often fell over. “I was walking home from the bus stop in seventh grade and I noticed how all the alley garbage bins were falling over and spilling waste,” Damian explained, “I decided there had to be some way I can help reduce the amount of waste that comes from these bins.”

During the Ohio Invention League Invention Convention 2020, Damian received the Environmental Innovator Industry Awardand an invitation to Invention Convention U.S. Nationals 2021. There, Damian went on to receive 1st Place in the Ninth Grade Category and the Patent Application Award, Presented by Cantor Colburn Detroit and General Motors. As part of the Patent Application Award, Damian received comprehensive intellectual property law services from Cantor Colburn Detroit, including guidance through the patent application process.

On January 31, 2023, Damian was granted his utility patent for The Garbage Lot. Utility patents protect how an invention functions.




Pictured: A diagram from Damian’s patent for The Garbage Lot

According to a 2015 Yale Study, most approved patent applications are actually previously rejected patents or continuation patents, patents that have been previously approved and later updated. For first-time patent applications, only 11.4% are accepted yearly and it's an even smaller number of approved applications for small inventors. This makes Damian's achievement even sweeter and puts him among a rare class of patent applicants.

In the future, Damian hopes to pursue a career in engineering and hopes to use the skills that he’s learned through invention to help as many people as possible. “Ever since I started Invention Convention, I’ve had a love for engineering. There was a long time where it was my dream to be a robotics engineer,” Damian recalls, “Recently, I’ve decided that I might want to be a civil engineer because I’d get to use my designing abilities that I learned in Invention Convention to create solutions to problems with bridges, sewage systems, and transportation systems in big cities. I’d also like to use my skills to be an entrepreneur.” Damian hopes to get a jumpstart on becoming an entrepreneurial engineer with The Garbage Lot, “My goal is to sell it all together or work with a company to earn a royalty and manage marketing,” Damian said in an interview with Columbus City Schools. “I want to see it in the real world because it would just be so awesome to see my idea out there.”

Damian - We can’t wait to see what you do in the future and we hope that no matter what, you continue to #InventItForward!

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