female inventors

Invent Together advocacy in favor of the IDEA Act

Invent Together is a coalition of organizations, universities, companies, and other stakeholders dedicated to understanding the diversity gaps in invention and patenting. It aims to support public policy and private initiatives working to close the diversity gap. They have been supporting the adoption of the Inventor Diversity for Economic Advancement (IDEA) Act, which would require the USPTO to collect data on inventors’ demographic data on a voluntary basis and make this information available in the aggregate for research.

The IDEA Act has recently passed the House as part of the America COMPETES Act. As the House and Senate negotiate a compromise, Invent Together is calling for Congress to keep the IDEA Act in the final version sent to President Biden’s office.

Invent Together has written a sign-on letter urging congressional leadership to keep the IDEA Act in the final innovation and competition bill which can be found here.

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How female inventors can fix STEM’s gender gap

While not specifically addressed by studies on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on women, its impact on women in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) workforce is likely to manifest in a greater gender gap than was documented pre-pandemic. Just as a gender gap exists in the STEM workforce, a gender gap also exists in patenting activity. According to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Intellectual Property (IP) Statistics Data Center, the share of female inventors out of all inventors named on Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) applications filed in 2020 was 16%. While the share of PCT applications filed in 2020 that included at least one female inventor was higher at 32%, this number still indicates that over two-thirds of the PCT applications did not include any female inventors.


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A Congressional Briefing on Increasing Inventor Diversity

Increasing participation in invention and patenting by underrepresented groups would quadruple the number of American inventors, increase annual U.S. GDP by almost $1 trillion, and result in exciting new and different inventions.

Please join this distinguished panel to learn more about the patent gaps and how we can work together to close them. The event will take place on Wednesday, 26 January at 12pm ET / 9am PT.

Register here.

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‘To be a scientist is a joy’: How a Hungarian biochemist helped revolutionize mRNA

Scientists generally don’t seek the limelight, but Dr. Katalin Kariko has been thrust right into it. The once obscure biochemist is now on the covers of magazines and newspapers because of her role in developing mRNA vaccine technology. An idea she started working on in the 1990s when no one thought it would work. She grew up daughter to a butcher, in a poor town near Budapest, where she lived in one room with her family for the first 10 years of her life. During this time, she also learned the skills for success there: determination, hard work and a positive attitude.

Read the full story

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Q&A with Denise Bierman

Innovation Council sat down with Denise Bierman, the Founder and CEO of Fontis Organic Skinfood, a premium high performance botanical skinfood brand, to talk about the beginnings of her company and what made it successful.

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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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Lack of diversity in patent holders means ‘half of the population’ isn’t getting needs met, economist Lisa Cook says

Diversity gaps in the U.S. patent system persist, in part, because of an absence of data on patent applicants. This lack of transparency has meant that patent holders are predominantly white, male and wealthy.

A recent study found that women, especially African-American and Latina women, obtain patents at significantly lower rates than men; people of color get approved for patents less often than white people; and individuals from lower-income families are less likely to acquire a patent than those who grew up in affluent families.

“Throughout history, women and underrepresented minorities have not been able to participate fully in each stage of the innovation process,” Lisa Cook, a professor of economics and international relations at Michigan State University. 

The inclusion of these underrepresented groups would evidently also have a positive impact on the economy and would increase U.S. GDP by 2.7% per capita, and by roughly $1 trillion annually. The economic activity from patents is estimated to be over $8 trillion, more than one-third of U.S gross domestic product. 

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Gender gap in US patents leads to few inventions that help women

The economist at Harvard University in Cambridge, Rembrand Koning, reasoned that the relative scarcity of women’s health products on the market is due to a scarcity of women inventing them. A study published in June confirms this theory: few biotechnology patents are owned by women, and female inventors are significantly more likely than are male ones to patent health products for women.

Teams made up of all women, were 35% more likely than all-male teams to invent technologies relating to women’s health. But teams made up of all women or all men were equally likely to patent technologies for men’s health. If women and men had produced an equal number of patents since 1976, the researchers estimated, there would be 6,500 more female-focused inventions today. 

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Tehran Municipality honors inspirational women of century

Many women in the history of Iran and especially in the last century have been influential in various social, cultural, political, and economic fields of the country and have worked for the progress of the country, Zahra Behrooz, head of Women’s Affairs Department of Tehran Municipality, stated. The proportion of female inventors to male inventors in Iran is significantly higher than the global average and even higher than the leading countries in the field of patents.

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