Irvine Valley College Foundation to Honor Community Partner Knobbe Martens at 2019 Awards Dinner

Knobbe Martens is pleased to share the news that the firm will be honored as a “Community Partner” at the upcoming Irvine Valley College (IVC) Foundation Awards Dinner. The award, created to celebrate members of the community who have supported the College’s education, growth and development, recognizes the firm’s ongoing hands-on involvement in the “Astounding Inventions” fair held annually for South Orange County students.

January 2019 marked Knobbe Martens’ fifth year participating in the event, designed to promote student creativity, entrepreneurship and interest in STEM fields. The “Astounding Inventions” competition has, since 1987, recognized top student inventions based on originality, usefulness, and a written description and illustration. Winners were chosen from among 400 finalists from the Irvine and Tustin Unified School Districts, and took home a total of $10,000 in cash prizes, certificates of achievement and ribbons from the IVC Foundation.

“Knobbe Martens is honored to be recognized as a community partner by the IVC Foundation,” says Partner Lance Smemoe. “We are privileged to have this opportunity to support up-and-coming inventors whose novel inventions can truly have real world impact.”

Knobbe Martens Partners Damien Howard and Lance Smemoe and Associates Sean Kim and Eric Malmgren attended the January 26 competition and selected two inventions – one from each school district – based on their potential patentability. They are now working with the student inventors on a pro bono basis to conduct prior art searches and write applications so they can patent their inventions.

“Every year the young people who enter the competition impress us with their intelligence, ingenuity and enthusiasm,” said Howard, who will accept the award from the IVC Foundation alongside Smemoe at the March 9 reception. “We look forward to working with this year’s winners of the pro bono provisional patent applications and, we hope, to see their inventions go to market one day soon.”

Previous IVC Foundation “Community Partner” honorees have included the City of Irvine, the Saddleback Kiwanis, Assistance League of Irvine, and Edwards Lifesciences.