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Greenberg Traurig Provides Pro Bono Legal Services to Help Secure Patent on Device Designed by Students to Stop Intruders from Entering a Classroom

WASHINGTON, DC – Nov. 13, 2018 – Global law firm Greenberg Traurig, LLP provided pro bono legal services to assist the Washington D.C. School District and the DC Public Education Fund in securing a patent for a device designed to prevent intruders from entering classrooms.

Inspired to act after the tragic December 2012 events at Sandy Hook Elementary School, a group of students from Benjamin Banneker Academic High School resolved to find a way to make classrooms safer for students and teacher. They discovered that most classroom doors, for fire safety reasons, only lock from the outside, which is why doors must be kept unlocked during the day. Using trial and error, they began testing out devices to keep the door closed.

Focusing on the door’s V-shaped hinge, the students realized that by placing a plastic pipe over the hinge, the door could be prevented from opening. The school’s robotics team won a $10,000 grant from the Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam to develop the invention, which evolved into a metal clasp called Deadstop, sold for $15.

The U.S. Patent Office granted the patent on November 13, 2018.

Greenberg Traurig patent attorney and shareholder Heath J. Briggs provided pro bono legal services to the school district to help secure the patent.

“It was a privilege to help these talented, and creative young inventors secure a patent,” Briggs said. “This is a remarkable accomplishment for these students, for Benjamin Banneker High School, and the entire Washington, D.C. school system. The students have long since graduated, but I hope wherever life found them, they take pride knowing their compassion and hard work will help make our schools a safer place.”

About Greenberg Traurig’s Pro Bono Program:
Greenberg Traurig lawyers across the firm’s offices provide pro bono legal services to the indigent and working poor, as well as to numerous civic and charitable organizations dedicated to assisting them. The firm focuses its resources on specialized and interrelated issues including civil rights and affirmative action, anti-human trafficking, family law matters, criminal appeals, immigration and political asylum, housing and homelessness.

About Greenberg Traurig, LLP: Greenberg Traurig, LLP (GT) has more than 2,000 attorneys in 38 offices in the United States, Latin America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. GT has been recognized for its philanthropic giving, was named the largest firm in the U.S. by Law360 in 2017, and is among the Top 20 on the 2018 Am Law Global 100. Web: Twitter: @GT_Law.