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InnovationErie Announces Design Competition Winners

InnovationErie Announces Design Competition Winners

The Innovation Erie: Design Competition announced the grand prize winner and finalists during a press conference held at the Erie Art Museum Annex Gallery on June 22.

MacDonald Illig’s Intellectual Property practice group was heavily involved in this year’s competition, as a sponsor, providing a judge, and donating a key component of the grand prize--submission of the application for the design patent.

“I was pleasantly surprised by the level of innovation that was shown in the contest submissions,” said Jonathan D’Silva, the MacDonald Illig patent attorney who served as the sole lawyer among the competition judges. “You can easily foresee so many of these items making it into the marketplace.”

Ryan Bookhamer, the grand prize winner, invented the Sling-Footwear Carrier, designed to carry, aerate, and protect shoes in an organized fashion. The MacDonald Illig IP team will work with Bookhamer to design and submit the patent application to the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Other innovative items in the competition included a round guitar pick, child’s sports helmet, a self-contained disposable and biodegradable coffee cup, disposable stethoscope cover and a revised version of a starter’s pistol.

InnovationErie is a collaborating effort among professionals in the science, art, manufacturing, engineering and design industries. The competition seeks ideas for products that can be manufactured in the Erie region. Among the competition partners are the Northwest Pennsylvania Industrial Resource Center, Ben Franklin Technology Partners, and STARTUP Incubator. For more information, visit