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Adams IP helps secure trademark and patents for Gulf Coast business looking to reduce carbon, revolutionize oyster farming, and feed the world.

Thu May 16th, 2024 by  Trademarks

Andy DePaola, a former microbiologist has patented a new technology, the Shellevator™, for farming oysters that can raise tens of thousands of pounds of shellfish. But the bigger goal is to fight world hunger and climate change at the same time. And now, this new technology is strong contestant in contest hosted by Elon Musk’s Musk Foundation and XPRIZE Carbon Removal. 

On April 24, XPRIZE ( announced that the Shellevator™ is among the Top 100 finalists remaining in the contest. Judges will select 20 finalists to demonstrate their technology’s carbon capturing abilities in the real world. In April 2025, the contest will give an award of $50 million to a grand prize winner, and distribute the remaining $30 million to runners-up.

The contest challenges participants from around the world to come up with a program that can remove 1,000 tons of carbon dioxide from the air or ocean in one year. 

“300 Shellevators ™can remove 1,000 tons of carbon annually and hold it for thousands of years,” DePaola said. “Most importantly, we can do this at scale. What I want to do is bring the price of these oysters down so that it is cheaper than chicken.”

“And so it it’s something that, I don’t know if we can use it alone to decarbonize the world, but we could certainly feed the world.”

To learn more about this revolutionary technology and the XPRIZE application, watch it in action here:

So what is a Shellevator?

Shellevator™ (Shellfish Elevator) is an automated, scalable and mobile oyster production vessel powered by compressed air. Thousands of oysters rise from the sea floor to above the sea surface in under a minute and a penny. This breakthrough patented invention is a method that automates oyster farming at scale. 

Water flows in and out of lift tanks beneath shellfish containers and is controlled by simply opening valves to airlines connected to a compressed air source. Shellevator™ moves vertically through the water column like a dry dock facilitating laborious and costly oyster farming operations such as desiccation, density reduction, tumbling and harvesting. 

Shellevator™ replaces most back-breaking heavy lifting oyster aquaculture operations with your fingers. Simply open valves on a manifold that connects lift tanks under the oyster gear to a compressed air source. Compressed air pushes water out of exhaust ports at the bottom rear of lift tanks. Shellevator™ rises effortlessly by the bow emerging oysters above the sea surface in seconds.

Closing the valves holds air in the lift tanks and keeps the Shellevator™ floating; desiccation accomplished without getting wet or touching oysters-gear! This easy access above the sea surface also facilitates other operations such as density reductions and harvesting. When it’s time to return to the grow position, the valves are opened. Air in the lift tanks exhaust through the manifold into the atmosphere allowing water to flow in through the exhaust ports. This simple patented method sinks Shellevator™ stern first assuring complete air evacuation. Shellevator™ has no submerged moving parts to break and provides unparalleled reliability.

What about the Trademarks and Patents for Shellevator™?

Andy DePaola provided these words:

“Hunter (Adams) and AIP were amazing in making the claims of this invention as broad as possible and protecting from others attempting to circumvent my IP with making minor changes in the apparatus that were not claimed. He would take my descriptions of certain parts or aspects and he would broaden the claim by removing specific terms.”

“Alexa (Stabler-Adams) was really great doing the trademark search on the word Shellevator and to my surprise found a number of matches. EvenBarbie had a “Shellevator”, which was an elevator shaped like a scallop shell to take her and Ken to their penthouse; She had everything!
I was relieved that the Mattel Barbie version nor other registered Shellevator trademarks were an aquaculture apparatus and my trademark stands.”

“Steve Thompson and who’s in the New Orleans AIP office has helped me out in my last couple of patents. Steve has a remarkable ability for aligning written patent claims and descriptions with figures detailing features and capabilities. This process of transforming my mental vision to actual drawings on paper brought the invention into better focus and strengthening claims. On our last patent application, the reviewer accepted all 20 of our claims, which is extremely rare. At that point several more features or embodiments had come to mind that I wanted to claim. Steve recommended that we file a Continuation in Part (CIP) instead of filing a new patent application like we did with our original patent to expand claims beyond the apparatus to include methods claims. He explained that a CIP has the advantage of using the first filing date in the event that someone has filed an application between the time between then and the CIP filing plus the likelihood of getting the same favorable reviewer. I feel like that I’m not just a client but an active participant on the same team and what I have learned is helping me to make smarter inventions.

Andy DePaola continued. “AIP was very judicious about everything, and gave really good advice about claiming an aquaculture apparatus. Hunter just thinks more broadly and bigger picture. I highly recommend them (AIP). Anytime I’m considering patenting an invention , I wouldn’t think about using anybody else.” 

AdamsIP is a full-service intellectual property law firm with broad practices in patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, business law, and related matters. If you have an innovation or a new invention, you have intellectual property. Protecting your I.P and your assets is a critical part of your business.

Feature Quote:

I feel like that I’m not just a client but an active participant on the same team and what I have learned is helping me to make smarter inventions.