Merchant & Gould joined forces with Girls Scouts of Colorado, Microsoft and Boulder toy robot maker Sphero, to help girls earn their Intellectual Property (IP) Patch. Held at Denver’s U.S. Patent and Trademark Office last month, Girl Scouts spent time with volunteers from Merchant & Gould and corporations to learn more about how IP supports innovation, while participating in a series of hands-on activities and presentations – and exploring the many ways in which inventors solve problems and use IP to protect their ideas and creations.
“It’s important to show these girls that science and math are relevant and fun – and that innovation is the technical form of creativity,” said Kathleen Ott, partner at Merchant & Gould, as well as a Girl Scouts and Girls Inc. volunteer, who uses her background in science and technology to help girls push the envelope with their cutting-edge innovations. “We want to give girls STEM skills at an early age, so they have the resources and mentoring they need to be future inventors, scientists, engineers and, of course, IP attorneys.”
Almost 30 Girls Scouts (10-12 years old) worked on product development ideas at the event, to meet the requirements for earning the IP Patch. The task was to choose a product; talk about things they liked and didn’t like about the product; and develop solutions. For example, during one of the activities, the girls were given an existing patent and were instructed to make three improvements and then draw a new invention.
“We are grateful for the support of so many professionals who are inspired by these girls and who are encouraging, teaching and guiding this next generation,” added Dana Jozefczyk, partner at Merchant & Gould, who also volunteered at the Girl Scouts event.