For the sixth straight year, the Chicago Intellectual Property Alliance (CIPA) sponsored awards for the “Most Inventive” projects at the Chicago Student Science Fair. Attorneys, law students and other volunteers joined together to judge the projects on March 28th at the Museum of Science and Industry. Volunteers were drawn from the corporations, law schools, and law firms that are founders or members of CIPA.
The level of student inventiveness has been remarkable over the five years, and it is always challenging for CIPA to select its winners from many excellent projects. However the challenge is made easier by the wonderful turnout of volunteer judges. “CIPA matches the technical expertise and interest of law students and attorneys to the categories of the Science Fair.
By fielding a large number of judges with an aptitude for science and technology, CIPA is able to look at all of the projects at the Science Fair and find those that best fit our awards criteria,” explains Steven G. Parmelee (pictured above with Gina Bicknell and student judge Vlad), Science Fair committee co-chair and intellectual property attorney with Fitch, Even Tabin & Flannery.
“Year after year, it is a great experience for the law students,” says Gina Bicknell (pictured at left), an associate with Marshall, Gerstein & Borun. Gina is a member of CIPA’s Science Fair committee and has volunteered as a judge in each of the last five years. “It is always rewarding to interact with these bright high school students and to learn about their projects.”
In addition to cash prizes, the first place winner also receives assistance with a patent application for his or her project if it appears to meet the criteria of patentability.