Empowering Learning Through Innovation

Every year at EDspaces manufacturers introduce their new ideas that allow students and educators the opportunity to better perform. The Education Market Association (EDmarket) has developed the Patent Recognition Program to celebrate these innovative companies and make sure those who are developing the ideas of the future are recognized for their investment, ingenuity, and commitment to student success.

The idea for the EDmarket Patent Recognition sprang from discussions with Jolene Levin from NorvaNivel and Mark Hubbard from Paragon Furniture about the feedback we received from our member surveys early in 2021. After developing an initial outline, the idea was taken to the EDmarket Equipment Manufacturers Council for comment and a smaller working group headed by Jolene was put together to flesh out the idea and build this important resource for our industry. A working group of EDmarket members gathered over several months to identify and develop program purpose and objectives.

A major goal for the group’s work was to establish a way recognize innovation through the U.S. patent process. They also wanted to acknowledge the high standards of ethical practice and vigorous competition, for individuals and members of the educational products industry. The result is a newly adopted program cultivating fresh approaches and inventiveness while providing greater recognition for companies that have invested time and resources in the design and utility of products.

Companies who have earned a U.S. patent are recognized by the federal government for having developed unique products illustrating new thoughts and ideas and are eligible to receive the EDmarket emblem. They are recognized as innovative organizations who transform ideas into new/improved products, services, or processes, advancing, competing, and differentiating superior products successfully for the education community. Participation in the program demonstrates how brands are doing more to put ingenuity at the forefront of product innovation for students at every level.

Any EDmarket member manufacturer who has earned a U.S. design or utility patent or has a patent pending designation may apply to have their ideas included. EDmarket will be creating a web-based repository of innovation where the products and white papers about why innovation matters will be available for the industry to explore. There will be social media posts and webinars to celebrate new ideas and the manufacturers participating will be able to utilize the EDmarket Recognized Patent emblem in their marketing and on the products.

“This is a great idea!” says Mark Beebe, Partner at Lancer+Beebe, LLC. “As someone who specifies interiors for educational facilities, it will be great to know which company originated an idea and who are the ‘me too’ copycats. As a designer, it is ethically important to acknowledge where innovation emerged and the EDmarket Patent Recognition Program gives us a tool to reference for our specifications and bids.”

EDmarket would like to thank the Patent Recognition Program Working Group who dedicated many hours to bring this important idea to fruition:

  • Jolene Levin, NorvaNivel (Chair)
  • Chris Courtnell, CERTWOOD LTD
  • Mark Hubbard, Paragon Furniture, LLC
  • Murray Hudson, Gratnells, LLC
  • James Johnson, CPJ2 LLC
  • Jeff Schreiner, JASchreiner Inc.
  • Terry Sullivan, Fleetwood

We also would like to recognize EDmarket staff member Allegra Tasaki for facilitating an efficient and thoughtful process.

Look for the EDmarket Recognized Patent emblem to see which companies are innovative and investing in creating the future of educational facilities. Stop by booth #1240 at EDspaces to learn more about this and other exciting new programs that are designed to benefit our industry.

Learn more about the EDmarket Patent Recognition Program during EDspaces 2021 at the attendee-focused mini-session “Best Bid Practice — The Importance of Specifying Innovative Products” on Wednesday, November 3, 2:30-2:50 PM or the manufacturer session “Gain Recognition for Innovation — New EDmarket Program” on Thursday, November 4, 9:30 AM–10:00 AM at the DesignWell Classroom by NorvaNivel, Booth 4311.

Jim McGarry

Jim McGarry has served as the President of the Education Market Association (EDmarket) since 2011. He works with EDmarket volunteer leaders and staff to provide high quality programs, events and resources to those serving education.