March 31, 2011
On March 25, 2011, Fitch Even attorneys Nicholas Angelocci, Paul Henkelmann, Calista Mitchell, Steven Parmelee, Nicholas Peters, and Mark Willis served as special judges at the 61st Annual Chicago Public Schools Student Science Fair at the Museum of Science and Industry.
These attorneys, along with eight other area legal professionals and seven local law students, helped to select the recipients of special awards sponsored by the Chicago Intellectual Property Alliance (CIPA). For the eighth consecutive year, CIPA awarded cash prizes for the three “Most Inventive” entries, as well as assistance with the preparation and filing of a patent application to one of the winning students.
Over 300 middle school and high school students had been previously selected from a field of 10,000 local participants to present their projects and accompanying papers at the citywide science fair. The CIPA judges sought out the most innovative projects among these, interviewing many of the student exhibitors as part of the judging process. The attorneys also talked with the students about the patent process and the overall importance of intellectual property law and provided written materials on the topic.
On March 29, the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin published an article about these IP lawyers’ involvement in the science fair. The article, “IP Lawyers Aid Young Edisons at Chicago School Science Fair,” featured quotes from Mr. Parmelee, who explained the motivation of the volunteers was to educate the students and recognize their innovative achievements, while marveling at the “incredible work” of many.
Fitch, Even, Tabin & Flannery is a co-founder of CIPA. Mr. Parmelee served as co-chair of CIPA’s Science Fair Committee and Mr. Peters was a member of this committee. Fitch Even attorneys have been involved with this initiative for the past several years. First-time judge Ms. Mitchell found it to be an enriching experience. "The students were really impressive," she commented. "The sophistication of some of their experiments went far beyond what I had anticipated from students at their grade levels. The poise and confidence they demonstrated while explaining their projects was also remarkable."
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