1. The question whether the clock was an “invention” should be recognized as a debate about the meaning of a word. It’s ridiculous to badger a 14-year-old about a linguistic point.
2. The annoyance at calling the clock an “invention” should be recognized as a dispute with the adults who overplayed their enthusiasm over the child’s brilliance and technological prowess. A child whose self-esteem is not perfectly aligned with the level of his accomplishments might have a problem, but, if so, it’s nothing for strangers to be sticking their nose into.