• Invention Convention

Student Patent Inventions Making the World a Better Place

  • April 23, 2024

One of the most fulfilling and exciting aspects of the Invention Convention process is when young inventors seek patents on their invention projects. Every year at Invention Convention U.S. Nationals, several students win Patent Application Awards sponsored by law firms specializing in intellectual property. The award consists of pro bono support for searching and patent application filing services and fees. Pro Bono supporters include: Cantor Colburn Connecticut, Cantor Colburn Detroit, General Motors, Clark Hill, Cooley and WilmerHale. Between 2019 and 2023, 51 student inventions were selected for the Patent Application award, based on the originality of their invention.

Haixia Lin, a partner at WilmerHale, notes that working with Invention Convention Worldwide student inventors is one of the highlights of her career. “Every time I talk to one of these [students], I get newly inspired. They're full of energy. They want to make the world a better place. They're creative. They're digging in,” Lin said. Patent attorneys like Lin, who mentor Invention Convention Worldwide students, encourage them to push the bounds of how they see their invention and to continue iterating how they present their invention. The Patent Application award enables students to go through the process of filing for a patent with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). According to Lin, “I think it's hugely validating for them [young inventors] to go through the process. And it's not an easy process … It's a growing experience for them,” said Lin.

In 2023, six Invention Convention Worldwide winners secured patents for their inventions. Meet the young patent holders below, and join us in celebrating their ingenuity.

Damian, Ohio

U.S. Patent No. 1,565,878-B1 for Garbage Lot

2021 U.S. Nationals Patent Application Award Winner, Cantor Colburn Detroit and General Motors

Damian began inventing in second grade and is still on his invention journey today as a senior in high school. He has spent recent years refining Garbage Lot, a mechanism to prevent garbage cans from falling over and spilling trash all over the roads. “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, so I decided there had to be some way I can help reduce the amount of waste that comes from these bins,” Damian said.

Devin, Florida

U.S. Patent No. 11,598,062-B2 for Shoreline Solution

2019 U.S. Nationals Patent Application Award Winner, WilmerHales

As a sixth grader, Devin invented Shoreline Solution and won the Patent Application Award on our national stage. She later received a patent for her invention in March 2023. Shoreline Solution, as Devin described it, “is a cart that is designed to pick up dead fish, seaweed and other beach debris from the beach. This product is different than the commercially used beach sweepers in that it is portable and will be affordable so people can bring it along with their other beach gear.”

Abigail, Connecticut

U.S. Patent No. 11,725,450-B2 for Fire Exit System

2019 U.S. Nationals Patent Application Award Winner, WilmerHales

Abigail, a serial inventor, won a patent award in seventh grade. Her invention, Fire Exit System, helps people exit their homes safely during a fire. The inventor explained: “When the smoke alarm is triggered by smoke or fire, it signals a button to light up and continually flash near the window. When the button is pressed, the window opens automatically and quickly. If you are on the second story of a house, you then toss out the bolted-on escape ladder and climb quickly to safety.”

Abigail shared, “I won the patent award at the National Invention Convention when I was in seventh grade, and I really didn’t understand what it meant. Over the years it took to work with the lawyer and go through the patent application process, I realized that it wasn’t really that different than the details and work it takes to do the invention process … Now, as a senior in high school who is applying to many STEM-based colleges, I’m so grateful for the opportunity this award provided me and that I was able to follow the process through to successfully be granted a patent. I’m hoping it won’t be my last since I’m planning on going into biomedical engineering and am interested in working in the field of prosthetics.”

William, Massachusetts

U.S. Patent No. 11,724,168-B1 for Ski Sense

2022 U.S. Nationals Patent Application Award Winner, WilmerHale

William’s innovative spirit shines through his invention, Ski Sense. This young inventor's creativity and determination have led to a product that William describes as “skis that use sensors, light, vibrations and Bluetooth technology to help beginners learn to ski while focusing forward and not on their feet.” William received a patent in August 2023.

While many people may naturally want to focus on success, William instead appreciates the mistakes he made because they helped him create a viable and patentable product. “I think the most important thing I learned participating in Invention Convention was how much value there is in just sticking to it. I learned more from my mistakes than I did from my successes,” William said.

Rishab, Eric and Katherine, Georgia

U.S. Patent No. 11,786,684-B2 for Cricothyrotomy Device

2019 U.S. Nationals Patent Application Award Winner, WilmerHale

This invention team obtained a patent in October 2023. Their Cricothyrotomy Device is a unique approach to aiding paramedics in performing a lifesaving medical procedure. Cricothyrotomies provide patients who have severe airway obstructions with an artificial airway in emergency situations. Often, paramedics must use a multitude of tools when performing this procedure. These inventors integrated all the tools necessary into their invention, which can be used in ambulances, helicopters and other moving vehicles.

When asked why she enjoys working with student inventors each year, WilmerHale's Haixia Lin told us, “This is working with wonderful people who are out there making the world a better place and who are really excited about STEM. I mean, why would I not want to do that?”

“They continue to impress me every year,” Lin continued, expressing her excitement for RTX Invention Convention U.S. Nationals 2024. “Every year we get the submissions and I get so excited to see [the inventions that students have created].” Like Lin, we can't wait to see all the wonderful innovations that will be presented at RTX Invention Convention U.S. Nationals 2024. We also look forward to our continued partnerships with the patent law firms that help us support and nurture the creativity of young inventors.


Invention Convention Worldwide

Where innovators, inventors and entrepreneurs get their start.


Invention Convention
is for You

Empower a new generation of innovators.


Bringing Young Innovators Together

Winning inventors and entrepreneurs are invited to compete at these prestigious, high-profile annual events.