News Clips

Dec. 16, 2020

Law360: USPTO Is Reviewing Patent Bar Rules With Diversity In Mind by Andrew Karpan

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Director Andrei Iancu said Wednesday that the office is now reviewing its patent bar requirements with an eye on diversity, but cautioned that the rise in frivolous patent litigation might also be keeping women from filing patents of their own.

Iancu spoke during a virtual panel put on by Invent Together, a new diversity-focused coalition, about the USPTO’s efforts to investigate the low numbers of female patent holders and female licensed patent attorneys, noting that the lack of diversity has real consequences.

“The United States can’t keep competing with one hand tied behind our backs. Nowadays, after the various reports that we’ve issued, I now say that we can’t compete with one hand and four fingers tied behind our backs,” Iancu said.

In one of its reports, the office found that the rate in which female inventors are participating in the U.S. patent system hit an “all-time high” last year of 12.8%.