On February 11, 2019, the USPTO released “Progress and Potential: A profile of women inventors on U.S. patents,” a report on the trends and characteristics of U.S. women inventors named on U.S. patents granted from 1976 through 2016. The report showed that women still comprise a small minority of patent inventors – only 21% of U.S. patents issued in 2016 had a female inventor and only 4% of patents issued in the past decade listed solely female inventors.
On March 27, 2019, Michelle K. Lee, along with several other women, recently testified before the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Courts, Intellectual Property and Internet at a hearing titled: “Lost Einsteins: Lack of Diversity in Patent Inventorship and the Impact on America’s Innovation Economy” about the lack of gender diversity in patent inventorship.
The witness panel for this hearing also included: Lisa Cook, Associate Professor of Economics and International Relations, and Director, American Economic Association Summer Training Program, Michigan State University; Ayanna Howard, Professor and Chair, School of Interactive Computing, Georgia Institute of Technology and Susie Armstrong, Senior Vice President, Qualcomm, Inc.
As a result of their testimony, Members of Congress are considering a number of initiatives to help with diversity in patenting.
You can watch a recording of the hearing online.
Click the links below to read the press coverage:
Law.com: Six Takeaways From House Judiciary’s ‘Lost Einsteins’ Hearing
The Hill: Lawmakers Push to Increase Diversity of Tech Inventors