Innovation Alliance Statement on House Small Business Committee Hearing on USPTO SUCCESS Act Report on Patent Equity
Hearing Focuses on the Need to Expand Efforts to Promote Equity in Patenting
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Innovation Alliance Executive Director Brian Pomper today issued the following statement on the House Small Business Committee hearing on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) recently released SUCCESS Act report on promoting equity in patenting:
“The Innovation Alliance applauds Chairwoman Velazquez, Ranking Member Chabot and other members of the House Small Business Committee for holding today’s hearing and shining a light on the need to promote greater equity in patenting and innovation.
“We know that increasing inventing and patenting rates among women, persons of color and other underrepresented groups will help to advance U.S. innovation and economic growth. We can’t succeed as a nation if we continue to leave large portions of our population out of the innovation economy. Making progress toward gender, racial/ethnic and socioeconomic equity in patenting will help to ensure we are bringing new ideas to the table in the search for solutions to the world’s most pressing problems.
“USPTO’s report makes an important contribution to this effort by highlighting the low rate of patenting among underrepresented groups. For example, the report cites USPTO data released last year showing that women comprised only 12% of all inventors named on U.S. patents in 2016. The report also emphasizes that there is currently insufficient data on the demographic characteristics of inventors and patent holders, making a strong case for enhanced data collection efforts.
“The Innovation Alliance urges Congress to take further action to help increase patenting rates and innovation among underrepresented individuals, including enacting the legislative recommendations presented in the SUCCESS Act report and passing the IDEA Act, which was introduced last year by Representatives Velazquez and Stivers in the House and Senators Tillis and Hirono in the Senate. The IDEA Act would require the USPTO to collect, on a voluntary basis, demographic data from each inventor applying for and granted a patent, publish that data annually and produce a biennial report evaluating the data. This data collection would make it significantly easier for policymakers and researchers to study and track the diversity of inventors and aid in the development of policies that will close diversity gaps in our innovation ecosystem.”
ABOUT THE INNOVATION ALLIANCE
The Innovation Alliance represents innovators, patent owners and stakeholders from a diverse range of industries that believe in the critical importance of maintaining a strong patent system that supports innovative enterprises of all sizes. Innovation Alliance members can be found in large and small communities across the country, helping to fuel the innovation pipeline and drive the 21st century economy. Learn more at www.innovationalliance.net.