Access to IPRs

Addressing the IP Gender Gap

This series of virtual events will take a look at the IP gender gap in the Americas region. Political leaders, heads of IP offices, economists, and scholars will discuss how best to attract underrepresented groups to use the patent system, what data needs to be collected in order to understand the gap, and how to interpret new and existing data in order to develop solutions that will help close the gap.

The High-Level Policy panel will take place on 13 October, 5:30-6:30pm CET // 11:30am-12:30pm EDT // 8:30-9:30am PDT.

The IP Economist panel will take place on 14 October, 5-7pm CET // 11am-1pm EDT // 8-10am PDT.

Read the full story and register.

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Policy approaches to close the intellectual property gender gap

Click here through Innovation Council’s presentation on “Policy approaches to close the intellectual property gender gap”. Innovation Council’s Jennifer Brant and Mark Schultz presented the findings on 29 July during the plenary session of the Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP) hosted by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

Watch the full session. 

The IC intervention starts at 01:38:52.

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Red de mujeres innovadoras y propiedad industrial – 19 July

The Instituto Mexicano de la Propriedad Industrial (IMPI) is organising a the live broadcast, via Facebook Live, of the launch of the digital community of the Network of Innovative Women and Industrial Property, which will be chaired by the Ministry of Economy, Tatiana Clouthier on Monday 19 July, at 9:00 am (CDMX time). This is an initiative of IMPI in collaboration with WIPO, to encourage inventors and entrepreneurs to protect their creations, where you will find information, advice and mentoring in industrial property for women inventors and entrepreneurs, as well as a space to showcase success stories and break stereotypes.

Watch the event.

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Gender Profiles in UK Patenting: An analysis of female inventorship

This analysis by the UKIPO shows that, in the 1980s, women represented less than 4% of inventors on GB patent applications, but that this has steadily risen to over 8% in recent years. Although absolute numbers remain relatively low, the last 10 years have seen a 16% increase in the proportion of female inventors. The overall proportion of patents involving a female inventor (either working alone or as part of a team) has more than tripled, from 4% in 1980 to over 12% in 2015; at the same time, the last 10 years have seen the proportion of individual female inventors’ plateau at around 3.75%. The number of all-female teams has increased fivefold since 1980, but the absolute numbers are still very low, with only 0.33% of patents coming from all-female teams in 2015. Although historical analysis reveals ever-increasing levels of female patenting, the growth rate is slow and the absolute numbers are still very low. The world of patenting remains male-dominated, and, even in 2015, there is a clear gender disparity: 88% of all GB patent applications come from male individuals or all-male teams, and almost 96% teams that submit applications include at least one man.

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Identifying the gender of PCT inventors

This paper, by Gema Lax Martinez, Julio Raffo and Kaori Saito, analyzes the gender of inventors in international patent applications. The authors compile a worldwide gender-name dictionary, which includes 6.2 million names for 182 different countries, which they use to discern the gender of PCT inventors. The results of the researchers suggest that there is a gender imbalance in PCT applications, but that the proportion of women inventors is improving over time. They also find that the rates of women’s participation differ substantially across countries, technological fields and sectors.

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Gender mainstreaming enhances women’s representation in inventions

In her article for the International Women’s Day 2021, Carolina Torres-Sarmiento pays tribute to female inventors and their contribution to social developments, and draws attention to the glass ceilings they had to break on their way to success. Gender gaps in science and technology are, unfortunately, still very present. Data extracted from patent offices in the US and the UK, as well as the ‘She figures (2018)’ EU report, show the necessity of more equal representation in the patent system. Multiple actions can be considered, such as enhancing women’s representation in all fields of science and technology, reducing the gender gap in STEM education, encouraging female recognition in patent applications, increasing the involvement of women in business and innovation processes, and promoting awareness to prevent gender bias in emerging technologies.

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Waiving IP Rights During Times of COVID: A ‘False Good Idea’

For Hans Sauers, it is clear that the COVID pandemic is being used as a cover narrative to argue for a quantum leap in the debate over IP and public health. In other words, taking away or denying patent rights is, according to some, no longer enough. Affirmative expropriation and the forced transfer of industrial property is taking its place on the NGO agenda – at least with respect to vaccine originator companies from North America and Western Europe. It is unclear why, but no nongovernmental group is demanding similar access to Russian, Chinese, or Indian COVID vaccine technology, even though there is no convincing reason to be dismissive of these products. Expectations that manufacturers around the world could, due to reduced IP protections, “freely” and independently make versions of existing COVID-19 vaccines within months are simply unrealistic. Indeed, there is no such thing as a “generic vaccine,” as some IP waiver proponents expect. Any resulting products would inevitably differ in quality, safety, and efficacy, and would not be approvable without running new rounds of expensive and time-consuming clinical trials. This inefficiency would be exacerbated by the diversion of scarce raw materials away from up-and-running manufacturers to inexperienced, first-time producers, who would produce at lower efficiency (at least initially) and, indeed, often in regions that lack biologics-manufacturing infrastructure. Such supply diversions, and the resulting inefficiencies, would only make it harder to maintain current global vaccine production, and worldwide COVID vaccine output would decline, not grow.

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Closing the Gender Gap in Intellectual Property (IP)

Jennifer Brant, Executive Director of Innovation Council, Co-author of “Policy Approaches to Close the Intellectual Property Gender Gap – Practices to Support Access to the Intellectual Property System for Female Innovators, Creators and Entrepreneurs”, spoke in a sharing session on “Women and IP” organized by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

Read the full story.

Watch the webinar.

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Enhancing Intellectual Property Management and Appropriation by Innovative SMEs

This one-pager by the Innovation Council explains the importance of sound IP management for SMEs, including complementary and hybrid strategies and recommendations for governments. To read more about innovative SMEs, click through the Innovation Council gallery for World IP Day 2021 here.

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