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Knobbe Martens Sponsors 31st Annual Irvine Valley College “Astounding Inventions” Competition

| Lance D. SmemoeDamien Howard

Knobbe Martens is pleased to once again sponsor the “Astounding Inventions” Competition for South Orange County students, to be held January 27, 2018. The event, hosted by Irvine Valley College (IVC) Foundation, was established in 1987 to promote creative thinking, student entrepreneurship, and student interest and learning in math and science. More than 450 students ranging from kindergarten through eighth grade will reveal their ingenious inventions during the event, which culminates in an awards ceremony.

More than 60 judges from the scientific, education, civic, and business communities will choose winners who will share $10,000 in cash prizes, certificates of achievement and ribbons from the IVC Foundation, basing their evaluation on each inventor’s originality, usefulness, written description, research performed and demonstration of the invention. Student inventors are asked to make sure their idea is original by searching for patents on Google and have the ability to improve on an existing invention. They are encouraged to find ideas that will improve something in their home or community including: energy conservation, climate change, time saving, improving safety, pollution, alternative fuel, etc. It will not be the first time the students’ inventions are judged – students from over 40 schools shared their ideas with judges at their schools in the fall of 2017. The top entries were chosen to move on to the January competition.

As a sponsor, Knobbe Martens will once again hand-pick two inventions, one from a student in the Irvine Unified School District and one from a student in the Tustin Unified School District, based on their potential patentability. The firm will then work with the students on a pro bono basis to conduct prior art searches and write patent applications for the inventions.

"Knobbe Martens is proud to support the ‘Astounding Inventions’ competition for the fourth year in a row. It’s incredibly rewarding to see the results of many hours of hard work by the creative and enthusiastic student inventors seeking solutions to the problems they see,” said Knobbe Martens Partner Lance Smemoe.

Knobbe Martens Partner and Irvine Valley College Foundation board member Damien Howard added, “Every year we look forward to working with the students and seeing what has sprung from the imaginations of these young innovators.  We really enjoy working with these enthusiastic children and helping the two winners file a free patent application for what we hope will be one of many inventions they develop throughout their lives.”

The Event will be held at the college’s Hart Gymnasium and, in addition to the students’ inventions, will feature a variety of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) activities, displays, and demonstrations. Science demonstrations and vendors will exhibit outside the gym from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM and judging will take place between 9:00 AM and 12:00 PM.

Contact: Nicholas Gaffney 415-732-7801