May 12, 2023

Harness IP Attorney Michael Doerr Helps School Robotics Team Secure Patent for Scooter Safety Technology

The East Hills Middle School Great Engineering Kids of Tomorrow, also known as the GEKOT Robotics Team, has been awarded a patent for its Collision Alert Technology for Scooters (CATS) – a collision alert system for micro mobility vehicles that alerts scooter drivers and pedestrians of potential collisions.

Project lead Michael Doerr, a patent attorney and Harness principal, said he’s proud of the result.  

“They are a group of talented leaders who demonstrate that anyone can make an impact in their community,” Doerr said. “We are happy to be part of pro bono community opportunities like this and look forward to the impact this group will continue to make.”

Harness IP has helped guide the students through the patent approval process over the past several years.

The GEKOT Robotics Team identified a need for new CATS safety measures following a rapid increase in scooter and “micro-mobility offerings” in urban areas in recent years. Along with increased scooter use, there has been an accompanying spike in mishaps: According to a report by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 117,600 people were treated for electric scooter incidents and 68 people died in scooter accidents between 2017 and 2021.

The CATS system uses a speed sensor and a proximity sensor, such as a LiDAR sensor, to detect potential collisions and generate the alerts, as needed. One unique feature of this system is the use of different modes, including a bypass mode for when the scooter is stopped at a traffic signal, a warning mode for when the scooter is traveling at normal speeds and detecting potential collisions, and a demonstration mode for showing the system and alerts to others without having to drive the scooter around at normal speeds.

“These kids worked hard to prepare both an initial provisional patent application in 2019 and the more formal version, a non-provisional patent application, which we filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in November 2020. We also filed in China and there is still a related patent application that remains pending at the USPTO,” Doerr said. “They gained firsthand knowledge of the process and, most importantly, the value in protecting their creations.” 

Learn more about CATS on its website and the GEKOT Robotics Team on their website

We’d also like to thank LegalNews for highlighting our efforts with the GEKOT Robotics Team. To learn more visit



Harness IP is celebrating more than 100 years as an intellectual property law firm. Founded in 1921, the firm currently holds a No. 2 ranking from IAM Media for providing counsel to 44 companies with the largest portfolios of issued U.S. patents. The firm also ranks No. 6 for filing the most patent applications on behalf of those companies. Harness IP’s attorneys and IP professionals focus exclusively on patents, trademarks, global IP management, litigation and other IP rights. The firm has offices in metropolitan Dallas, Detroit, St. Louis, and Washington, D.C. Visit for more information.