Patent News

Jul. 24, 2018

Bloomberg: Black and Hispanic Women Are Less Likely to Get Patents Than Whites

This post originally appeared in Bloomberg on July 24, 2018.

Women of color, particularly black and Hispanic women, are less likely to obtain U.S. patent rights than white women and men, even as they are leading in the growth of new female-owned businesses over the last two decades, according to a new study.

“The data show that people of color are particularly unlikely to hold intellectual property,” the Institute of Women’s Policy Research, a Washington think tank, said in a report released on Tuesday. Overall, less than 19 percent of patents issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office had a female inventor listed, according to the most recent data, compiled in 2015.

The report found that “despite being less likely to hold intellectual property rights than men, women-owned businesses still report actively engaging in innovative activities and generally do so at rates at least as high as men-owned business.”

Women are increasingly likely to own their own businesses and women of color are playing their part in accelerating entrepreneurial activity. Firms owned by women grew from 847,000 to 1.1 million between 1997 and 2015, the study found. Moreover, the number of businesses owned by minority women accounted for more than two-thirds of the overall growth in that period, according to the study.