MBHB helps high school students file pro bono provisional patent application

MBHB professionals Connor J. Toth and Manav Das worked with a group of high school students to file a provisional application as part of the group’s involvement in the Lemelson-MIT (LMIT) InvenTeam program  

The Oswego East High School InvenTeam invented Algae Air, a device aimed to improve poor air quality in schools using algae biofiltration. The small-scale device is a fully automated microalgae biofiltration system, which hopes to combat the climate crisis and improve indoor air quality by absorbing air pollutants such as carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and particulate matter. The students developed this invention through their involvement in the LMIT program, which aims to prepare the next generation of inventors and entrepreneurs by helping students develop interest, confidence, and capabilities in science, technology, engineering, and math. 

“Connor and Manav’s efforts were greatly appreciated by the team,” says Leigh Estabrooks, Lemelson-MIT’s Invention Education Officer. “The students worked together to develop novel technology, and it has been exciting to see them participate in the patent process. We are thankful to the MBHB team for helping them file a provisional patent. I hope this process inspires the students to continue to solve our world’s most pressing challenges.”  

Toth, a law student who has joined MBHB as part of its summer associate program, was presented with the team’s materials for the invention and worked closely with the students to create diagrams and build out the provisional patent application. He educated the students on the patenting process and what specifications are needed to file a patent for their invention.  

“Working on this project was a very positive and enjoyable experience that set the tone for the summer associate program at MBHB,” said Toth. “Supporting students with passions for STEM initiatives has always been a goal of mine and I was able to do that with this project. I am thankful for this opportunity through MBHB and Manav’s helpful mentorship and feedback.” 

The Oswego East High School InvenTeam went on to perform exceptionally well at EurekaFest, an invention celebration held at MIT where students share the final prototype of their invention. The team’s next step is to file the formal patent application in the next 12 months. Toth and Das hope to continue MBHB’s pro-bono efforts and assist them throughout this process.  

The involvement with the LMIT program was made possible by the Illinois Intellectual Property Alliance (ILIPA).