Photo Diary: USPTO Smithsonian Innovation Festival

By Renee C. Quinn
November 7, 2014

This weekend, the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, in collaboration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, hosted an Innovation Festival. The Festival, which is part of a five-year collaboration between the Smithsonian and USPTO to develop programs and exhibitions showcasing American ingenuity and innovation. This year’s Festival celebrated the spirit of innovation with displays, talks, performances, and craft projects for children and adults while highlighting the accomplishments of several American inventors.

And of course, IPWatchdog was there! Following is a photo diary of many of the booths and events that took place at the Innovation Festival. In the following photo, three 9th grade students from the James Monroe High School Robotics Team, demonstrated the First Tech Challenge (FTC) Grades 7-12 Robotics by allowing children of all ages to “drive” the robots via remote control. The children were tasked with “driving” the robots toward the obstacle, with the goal of knocking off the bar and releasing the balls.  Ahh Success!

9th grade James Monroe High School Robotics team Members Gavin Herlitz, Kyle Kabza and Aaron O’Donell. The team

Brad and Melinda Shepard, inventors of the Gyro Bowl, a spill-proof bowl that keeps its contents inside no matter how it is turned. Brad and Melinda created their invention to solve the problem of a toddler’s “Uh-Oh spill everything” stage, where every snack they carry winds up on the floor.  The Shepard’s were cast as on season one of Everyday Edisons.

Gyro Bowl Inventors Brad & Melinda Shepard with Edison Nation’s Kara Sheaffer & Louis Foreman

Evolution of the Gyro Bowl

Melinda and Brad Shepard, Inventors of the Gyro Bowl, hold Patent #8,348,084 on this invention

Christen Bell, inventor of the Vestpakz, came up with her invention in 1999 as an 11-year-old for a sixth-grade science project. The invention is a vest that serves as a backpack to provide a more comfortable way for students to carry school supplies.

Christen Bell, Inventor of the backpack/vest hybrid Vestpakz, holds Patent # 6,397,392 on this invention.

Alexei Novitzky of Looshes Labs LLC, inventor of the BriefSkate, the world’s first skateboard with built-in storage. He came up with the invention while skateboarding between his graduate astrophysics classes. He was sick of juggling his backpack and skateboard around campus. So he thought, “What if he could carry his books and pencils in his skateboard?”

Alex Novitzky, Inventor of the Skatecase and Skatecase, Skateboards with built-In Storage, holds Patent #8,317,206 on this invention.

Merry L. Morris, Faculty Member of the University of South Florida College of Arts invented the Rolling Dance/Mobility Chair, an Omni directional, Smartphone-controlled rolling dance chair. The chair gives dancers with and without disabilities a new interactive and creative movement experience.

Merry Lynn Morris, Inventor of The Rolling Dance/ Mobility Chair, holds Patent #D642,962 for this invention

Julian Ross, inventor of the OxySure System, which creates medical oxygen from powder “on demand” without the need for storing oxygen under extreme pressures. He owns numerous issued patents and patents pending on technologies that makes the provision of emergency oxygen safer, more accessible, and easier to use than traditional oxygen systems.

Julian Ross, inventor of the OxySure System (pictured with Model 615), holds Patent #7,407,632 and others on this invention

The Author

Renee C. Quinn

Renee C. Quinn Working with IPWatchdog since April of 2006, Renée C Quinn is the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of IPWatchdog, Inc where she is responsible for overseeing all of the day-to-day financial, administrative, operational and procedural aspects of IPWatchdog, Inc.

As a key member of the executive management team, Renée is tasked with handling all aspects of operations, Finance, Human Resources, Public Relations, Marketing and Events for IPWatchdog. In addition, Renée is the producer for the IPWatchdog Weekly Webinar series and the IPWatchdog Institute Suite of courses.

Renée has written on various business, marketing, brand building and social media topics for as well as Inventor’s Digest. She has also been a guest speaker at many events including the USPTO Women’s Symposium, several AIPF Annual Meetings, and multiple law schools across the country.

Renée acquired her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from the Pennsylvania State University and has Master of Business Administration, with a focus on e-commerce and Internet marketing.

Click to contact Renee via e-mail.

Warning & Disclaimer: The pages, articles and comments on do not constitute legal advice, nor do they create any attorney-client relationship. The articles published express the personal opinion and views of the author as of the time of publication and should not be attributed to the author’s employer, clients or the sponsors of Read more.

Discuss this

There are currently 2 Comments comments.

  1. Bob Barber November 9, 2014 1:07 pm

    Wow. My clients have to pay petition fees and RCE fees because the PTO doesn’t know how to follow its own rules and its examiners don’t know how to examine (or just game the system so they can collect paychecks for doing little to no work). The PTO then takes that money to pay for a festival with no clear benefit to anyone, that features an unpatentable skateboard, consisting of known elements, cobbled together to work as expected. My clients will be glad to know their fees are going to fund this kind of crap. Thanks for exposing this.

  2. Maureen Coffey November 28, 2014 6:34 am

    Looks a bit like all these inventions (dance chairs aside) appeal once again more to the “boys” than the “girls” – we need to get an idea how such a nationwide festivity might look like if it were to appeal to the opposite sex in opposite numbers. I am at a loss, though. This is all about “tangibles”.