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Women on the Rise at the Patent and Trademark Office

July 23, 2020 | Intellectual Property

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) released a 2020 update on women as inventor/patentees, which discusses data collected on the number and percentage of women listed as inventors for U.S. patents. The report was a followup to a 2019 report and includes additional data based on nearly one (1) million issued patents and three (3) years of data.

The report’s findings were promising, and including the following:

  • “More women are entering and staying active in the patent system than ever before.
  • The number of patents with at least one woman inventor increased from 20.7% in 2016 to 21.9% by the end of 2019.
  • The “Women Inventor Rate”–the share of U.S. inventors receiving patents who are women–increased from 12.1% in 2016 to 12.8% in 2019.
  • The share of women among new inventors on issued patents increased from 16.6% in 2016 to 17.3% by 2019.
  • The gender gap in the number of women inventors who remain active by patenting again within five years is decreasing. For the most recent group of new inventors, 46% of women patented again in the next five years versus 52% of men.
  • Among the leading patent filers, the 3M Company showed the largest improvement in the participation of women inventor-patentees: Their average increased from 15.2% over 2007- 2016 to 16.6% for 2007-2019.”

This report shows that the workplace imbalance between men and women is slowly being rectified – at least in terms of women represented before the USPTO.