Jul 29 2019

Yesterday, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY), and Congressman Steve Stivers (R-OH) introduced bicameral, bipartisan legislation to help close the gap faced by women, minorities, and others when it comes to procuring patent rights in the United States.
 
The Inventor Diversity for Economic Advancement (IDEA) Act of 2019 would close these gaps by directing the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to collect demographic data – including gender, race, military or veteran status, and income level, among others – from patent applicants on a voluntary basis. It further requires the USPTO to issue reports on the data collected and make the data available to the public, thereby allowing outside researchers to conduct their own analyses and offer insights into the various patent gaps in our society.
 
“As Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, we recently held a hearing on the underrepresentation of women and minority inventors applying for patents in the United States,” Senator Tillis said. “Women and minority inventors have made some of the most significant inventions in this country’s history, yet a recent USPTO study found that only 21 percent of all U.S. patents list a woman as an inventor and that women only make up 12 percent of all inventors. We must work to close this gap to ensure all Americans have the opportunity to innovate, and I am proud to introduce this bipartisan, bicameral legislation to get a better understanding of the background of individuals who apply for patents with the USPTO.”

Read the article here.

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