Innovation and Intellectual Property Resources Oct. 26 2021| 0 KB

Content Type: FIRST General
Tags: Team

To help you with your innovation process, we’ve cataloged our past work with Strategic Partners, sponsors, and other innovation leaders to share helpful innovation and intellectual property tips and resources. 

FIRST teams working on innovations or product designs may find these archived webinar episodes from the FIRST Innovation Challenge presented by Qualcomm helpful. FIRST hosted an expert educational series featuring conversations with innovators. 

Design, Innovation Process, Product Development  

Business Models

Innovation Careers and Real-World Innovation Examples

Innovation Tips - from FIRST Teams and Professionals

Entrepreneurship and Business Models 

  • A business model canvas is not required for the Global Innovation Award, but using this tool for any product development is a valuable step, especially as you consider implementation factors for your product.  Here is a short video describing the business model canvas as a tool. 
  • The MARS Discovery District in Ontario has lots of information about entrepreneurship that could be valuable to innovative teams thinking about making their inventions a reality, like  Business Model DesignHow to Build a Great Pitch, and more.
  • Business Models Inc. is an inspiring source of learning about Business Models and have a wealth of business design tools online.

Intellectual Property Education and Resources

Intellectual Property (IP) is an important part of inventing.  The World Intellectual Property Organization has a helpful guide to start your learning called: What is Intellectual Property?  Additionally, FIRST works with the United States Patent and Trademark Office of Education and Outreach, who have put together this educational video for all FIRST teams, as well as the resources below.

General Intellectual Property Resources:


From the USPTO:

  • Patent Resources:
    • Video: Roadmap to Filing a Patent Application
    • USPTO patent search help
    • USPTO Kids Pages
    • Basic Questions? Contact the USPTO Inventor Assistance Center (IAC).  The USPTO has a hotline that inventors can call; it does not provide legal advice but can answer questions on rules and applications.
    • Filing a Provisional Patent (recommended for all FIRST LEGO League Global Innovation Award Semi-Finalists)
    • Pro-Se Assistance Program The Pro Se Assistance Program provides outreach and education to applicants (also known as "pro se" applicants) who file patent applications without the assistance of a registered patent attorney or agent. USPTO employees cannot give legal advice. However, through increased assistance and resources for independent inventor and small business communities, the program aims to increase the quality of pro se applications and assist pro se applicants with making informed decisions regarding their patent applications.
  • Finding free or reduced fee legal assistance with patent filing in the United States:
    • Meet with a librarian (in-person or virtually) at a Patent and Trademark Resource Center (PTRC). PTRC locations by state.
    • USPTO Pro-Bono program - Inventors and small businesses that meet certain financial thresholds and other criteria may be eligible for free legal assistance in preparing and filing a patent application.  Pro Bono coverage map for US.
    • USPTO Law School Clinics – The Law School Clinic Certification program allows law students enrolled in a participating law school's clinic program to practice Intellectual Property Law before the USPTO under the strict guidance of a Law School Faculty Clinic Supervisor.