Progress and Potential: A profile of women inventors on U.S. patents

The following comes directly from the USPTO: 

On February 11, 2019, the USPTO released “Progress and Potential: A profile of women inventors on U.S. patents,” a report on the trends and characteristics of U.S. women inventors named on U.S. patents granted from 1976 through 2016. The report shows that women still comprise a small minority of patent inventors. Further, it highlights the untapped potential of women to spur U.S. innovation. Women, like other under-represented groups, are among the “lost Einsteins”—people who may contribute valuable inventions had they been exposed to innovation1 and had greater access to the patent system.

line chart showing consistent upward trend of three variables: patents with at least one woman, women inventor rate, and women's share of total patenting. X-axis shows time 1976-2016. Y-axis shows percentage from 0-25 percent.

Download report

Major findings:

  • The share of patents that include at least one woman as an inventor increased from about 7 percent in the 1980s to 21 percent by 2016.
  • Even with this increase in patent counts, women inventors made up only 12 percent of all inventors on patents granted in 2016.
  • Gains in female participation in science and engineering occupations and entrepreneurship are not leading to broad increases in female patent inventors.
  • Technology-intensive U.S. states, and those where women participate more in the overall workforce, show higher women inventor rates.
  • Women inventors are increasingly concentrated in specific technologies and types of patenting organizations, suggesting that women are specializing where female predecessors have patented rather than entering into male-dominated fields or firms.
  • American businesses have the lowest women inventor rates among the various categories of U.S. patent owners.
  • Women are increasingly likely to patent on large, gender-mixed inventor teams, highlighting the growing importance of understanding the relationship between gender and innovative collaboration.

 


1 Alex Bell, Raj Chetty, Xavier Jaravel, Neviana Petkova, John Van Reenen; Who Becomes an Inventor in America? The Importance of Exposure to Innovation, The Quarterly Journal of Economics, forthcoming, https://doi.org/10.1093/qje/qjy028(link is external)

70 thoughts on “Progress and Potential: A profile of women inventors on U.S. patents

  1. 9

    I’m thinking M&M watches interracial cuckold porn and cries when he beats off. Then asks Rachel Maddow for forgiveness.
    M&M – am I close here?

    1. 9.1

      Wow, is that inappropriate.

      Prof., please delete.

      1. 9.1.1

        Is no one minding the blog here? everything on auto-pilot?

        1. 9.1.1.1

          Apparently no one is minding the store. Of course if MM goes to the next level, he may get law enforcement interested, in which case MM will have to be tracked down and sued for libel.

          1. 9.1.1.1.1

            ..and I would point out that Prof. Crouch DOES know the actual identity of each poster, and he is NOT likely able to be able to use any type of “shield” as a blog master, given that his editorial policies are NOT applied in an objective manner.

            He very likely would have to hand over the identity of posters if that identity did become a matter for the courts.

        2. 9.1.1.2

          Pretty outrageous that the number patent blog in the country tolerates MM trying to get rid of people by making outrageous accusations.

          I think MM’s latest round of outrage should result in a permanent ban.

          1. 9.1.1.2.1

            I think that Dennis should really think about what he allows MM to do. MM escalates whenever he is challenged. People may say some things about MM that are an exaggeration, but that are still within the bounds of civilized debate. MM escalates and goes directly to libelous statements. So far MM has stayed away from statements that will draw law enforcement into the fray, but he is just an inch from that. I think that he has an implied threat to escalate to the level where he starts to say things that law enforcement may be knocking on my door and MM’s door. (I know MM thinks he is safe from discovery so he feels empowered to do this. But —no your not MM. We can find you. It will cost money, but you can be tracked down.)

            Seriously Dennis is this the type of blog you want to run? Where a blogger escalates getting one step away from getting law enforcement involved to try and silence people?

            You need to ban MM.

            1. 9.1.1.2.1.1

              (I know MM thinks he is safe from discovery so he feels empowered to do this. But —no your not MM. We can find you. It will cost money, but you can be tracked down.)

              See above at 9.1.1.1.1 — this blog likely does NOT offer a “discovery-proof” mechanism for identities of posters. Any type of “tracking down” would be relatively easy.

            2. 9.1.1.2.1.2

              … and while I recognize your position of “banning,” I would offer that my position need not rise to that level in order to clean up the blight that has objectively and factually demonstrably has come from Malcolm for over a dozen solid years.

              1. 9.1.1.2.1.2.1

                MM is taking it to a new level. And he is one step away from getting law enforcement potentially interested.

                I can promise MM one thing. If law enforcement knocks on my door due to his actions that he will spend time in jail and I will sue him for libel.

  2. 8

    Clearly, the only way to correct this historic injustice is to allow all patent applications that list a female (or for that matter any non-cis-hetero-male) inventor, regardless of their conformance with the requirements of the statute, and to reduce or waive PTO fees for such applications. But since PTO information collection presently doesn’t include an inventor’s gender, in order to implement these policies the ADS requirements need to be amended to include a statement about the inventors’ genders. Of course, the usual bits about penalties for false statements will apply, leaving fertile ground for litigation years later, particularly since the requirements for determining gender are set differently from state to state. And since gender is subjective and fluid, applicants will need to update the PTO at certain points in time if the gender of one of the inventors changes during the course of patent prosecution or maintenance, just as they need to update regarding entity size if they wish to claim small entity status.

    [wait for screeds from SJWs and others lacking a sense of humor]

    1. 8.1

      But more important — where the white women at?

  3. 7

    I see MM is permitted to go off on his psychotic rants that try to link patent rights to everything up to and including geno ci de. No MM patent rights are good. Ge no cide is bad. Not the same thing.

    Back to the real world, it would be interesting to hear the opinions from women that read this blog.

    1. 7.1

      If there were an equivalent to “leash laws” for blog comments, the editors here would be in huge trouble.

    2. 7.2

      rants that try to link patent rights to everything up to and including geno ci de

      Right. Just like you and “anon” and your endless ranting about how child r@ pe should be legalized. Can’t you take that to some ped0 forum where it belongs? It’s radical ped0 philes like you two who really give the maximalists a bad name.

      1. 7.2.1

        Except MM what I said was true and what you said is clearly libel and an attempt to silence me.

        1. 7.2.1.1

          Except MM what I said was true

          Indeed, just as what I said was The Truth, the Whole Truth, and Undeniably So.

          Fun game!

      2. 7.2.2

        Malcolm, you are not even close to reality with this type of nonsensical reply.

        1. 7.2.2.1

          Malcolm, you are not even close

          But you and Night Wiper have admitted to your endless lusts for young children and even babies over and over again here.

          Methinks thou protests too much.

          Or maybe you want to play a different game? Your choice, Billy.

          1. 7.2.2.1.1

            Your Accuse Other meme in full gear, as it is YOU that is clearly playing a different game.

            As noted the last time you attempted this dissembling, I asked you to back up your accusation with something particular.

            You
            Ran
            Away

            (And yes, Mr. Obtuse On Purpose, that was figuratively)

            1. 7.2.2.1.1.1

              Why not ask your BFF Night Wiper to back up his absurd accusation, you miserable pile of dog shirt.

              1. 7.2.2.1.1.1.1

                Why not YOU simply behave in an appropriate manner?

                After all, YOU control your own actions, eh?

                (and yes, I recognize that you STILL did not answer my previous point as to particulars from me)

                1. YOU control your own actions

                  It’s ironic, Billy, that an admitted ped 0 phile like you would suggest such a thing to anyone.

                  Fun game, though. Did you and your bff invent it? Because you sure do like to play it a lot.

  4. 6

    How do they know the gender of inventors? Is that yet another piece of information we have to put on the “voluntary” Application Data Sheet?

      1. 6.1.1

        I wasn’t asking for conjecture. I’m fully capable of guessing on my own.

        1. 6.1.1.1

          If you were not asking for conjecture, then you should have phrased your question directly to the authors.

          You did not do that.

    1. 6.2

      Les — good question. With the (ever-) broadening “scope” of names — female and male — over the years (and including foreign-language females), who really knows?

      Re the ADS. Are they in fact voluntary?

      Does one have to utilize one in order to legally obtain a priority / continuity claim?

      Even if they’ve made the required priority / continuity claim on the first page of the spec?

  5. 5

    Women, like other under-represented groups, are among the “lost Einsteins”…

    Patent reform would be a good thing, but patent policy is a dime to the dollar of education policy. The technological enhancement and economic growth that could be unleashed if we did a better job of identifying and cultivating talent would dwarf anything that can be achieved by more optimal patent laws. Here’s hoping that we do a better job finding some of these “lost Einsteins” in the next twenty years than we have in the previous twenty (a very plausible hope, given that we have almost certainly done a better job in the last twenty than we were doing in the penultimate twenty).

    1. 5.1

      Patent reform would be a good thing, but patent policy is a dime to the dollar of education policy.

      Absolutely no question about this. If you sincerely care about “innovation” in the US, then you should be supporting a robust, very well funded public education system (hardly the only reason to do that, of course) and the qualified teachers who work within that system.

      The US remains one of the wealthiest countries in the world, even if as it sinks down into the t0 ilet of ign 0rance and corruption. There’s no reason we can’t have an incredible public education system (except for those certain powerful people whose power will be undermined if the population becomes more intelligent overall — we all know who I’m talking about bible thump thump thump).

      1. 5.1.1

        ” There’s no reason we can’t have an incredible public education system (except for those certain powerful people whose power will be undermined if the population becomes more intelligent overall — we all know who I’m talking about bible thump thump thump)”

        Sure there is. The disinte gration of society, which you might have noticed if you hadn’t been busy in your ivory tower, and also probably being one of those actively disin tegrating it (on account of its ebilness of course). And the rise of degen erate society alongside that. But even setting that to the side, there a re also some parts of the “coming apart” of society that are definitely just everyday economic issues that are largely unavoidable/unstoppable by pretty much anyone. You I’m sure have heard of mean ol’ dirty rac ist Murray and his “coming apart” book, but now it is touted by a whole lot of people on all sides of the spectrum as having come true, and coming more and more true every day. And it is true. The economic divide widens nigh every year and this in turn stratifies society by economic (and somewhat social status often interlinked to economic status). And those on the bottom have a very hard time funding their local schools up to snuff once they’re segregated (not necessarily even by race, but often by race, though definitely by socio-economic standing) in terms of their zip codes etc (general location). This is even standard issue le ftist knowledge MM, even you should know it. The issue is so large that it is difficult to cure, even just in terms of schools, under our current form of local taxes, state taxes and federal taxes, gubmit taxes even with grants and loans etc. from the feds. This is true and nothing is able to change it, even if you had actual leadership and the “eb il whi ty” didn’t stand in your way at all. Note even leftists in the know know this. And one reason is because the issue keeps getting worse and worse ad infin itum even as federal grants etc. soar. Another reason is that “the best/qualified teachers” don’t always want to live in po dun k nowheresville, or in “muh eth nic enclave no. 12050” or “muh backwards hillbil ly town” (I’m a progressive doncha know!) or etc. etc. and they won’t change their minds about that just for a bit extra $. And on top of that you have many qualified teachers sick and tired of the teaching atmosphere nowadays (infested with le ftism and all manner of coddling for the chillens) and still other reasons they don’t want to teach and/or aren’t allowed to teach. All this is standard known knowledge in the field bruh. Why don’t you edumacate yourself?

        Before you propose switching from the republic to co mmieisms so that we can send all federal dollars to the lower class neighborhoods for schools and send the qualified teachers to the g ulag schoolhouse to work let me just go ahead and stop you.

        1. 5.1.1.2

          6,

          Reply caught in filter, but basically, your wall of text is not going to generate the effect that you are looking for.

      2. 5.1.2

        Yes indeed, Malcolm. Yes indeed. We have bombs and ships and planes and guns enough to kill the world repeatedly. More for teachers, less for the generals.

    2. 5.2

      “Patent reform would be a good thing, but patent policy is a dime to the dollar of education policy. ”

      I agree, I think we should at least double the muh victim studies classes and budget in primary through highschool. This way victims of yours will know more of your ebil when they come out of highschool. Thoughts?

      “ere’s hoping that we do a better job finding some of these “lost Einsteins” in the next twenty years than we have in the previous twenty (a very plausible hope, given that we have almost certainly done a better job in the last twenty than we were doing in the penultimate twenty).”

      You’re presuming that there were any. A conjecture as yet to be proven.

      “(a very plausible hope, given that we have almost certainly done a better job in the last twenty than we were doing in the penultimate twenty)”

      I’ve seen no numbers suggesting such a thing. Word on the street is that whemen were all up ins practically everywhere by the mid 70’s, 40ish years ago. And I hear that other minorities, excluding persons from India, and other recent immigrant fams (who obviously only started getting let into the country mid 60’s), are more or less par for the einstein course throughout the time period noted. Where there would perhaps have been a greater amount being included due to the efforts of the ebil ones, instead the single motherhood epidemic (totally not created by any welfarish leftist programs) among other things helped keep the numbers low (I’m sure it was 99%+ oppressions by the ebil ones though most likely). At least that is what I hear on muh streets to the best of my recollection, but you may have different data.

      1. 5.2.1

        “You’re presuming that there were any. A conjecture as yet to be proven. “. It’s a statistical inference. The question is, how many of those people even want to be Einsteins?

        1. 5.2.1.1

          “It’s a statistical inference”

          Yes but not necessarily using any stats that are on point or relevant depending on the ideological perspective of the people making the inference.

          “The question is, how many of those people even want to be Einsteins?”

          That’s one question. There are many others.

  6. 4

    Man, there’s a lot of d00shbag mis0gynist @ h0les in the patent maximalist community. But we knew that already.

    Total coincidence that they’re also Re pu k k k es and glibert@rians l00sers, I’m sure. I mean, what else could possibly explain it except for random chance?

    Any ideas, Dennis?

    LOL

    1. 4.1

      Your one bucketing – as predictable as it is wrong – is noted.

      1. 4.1.1

        it is wrong

        No it isn’t. It’s dead on correct.

        1. 4.1.1.1

          No. It is wrong. That you merely feel otherwise is part of the problem.

          1. 4.1.1.1.1

            It’s no more of a “feeling”, Billy, than your “feeling” that I’m “anti-patent”.

            Tell everyone who you voted for President in the last four elections. You’re a very serious person and totally not a coward.

            1. 4.1.1.1.1.1

              LOL – that you are anything BUT anti-patent is self-evident.

              Do you really want to bank on that argument?

              And what the F does my voting record (for the last FOUR elections) have to do with ANYTHING here?

              Stop trying to kick up dust in your one-bucketing.

              (and for the record:
              2016: Sanders (write-in)
              2012: Obama
              2008: Obama
              2004: Bush (If I recall correctly – was that against Kerry…?)

              Your “one-bucketing” is nothing but a L A Z Y excuse for your lack of critical thinking.

              1. 4.1.1.1.1.1.1

                2016: Sanders (write-in)
                2012: Obama
                2008: Obama
                2004: Bush (If I recall correctly – was that against Kerry…?)

                I guess I left out the “pure ins@nity” bucket.

                LOL

                1. Were you trying to make a point with that reply?

                  If so, you desperately need to try again.

                  Or (more likely) you are simply desperate and have nothing meaningful to say.

  7. 3

    How can you tell if an inventor on a patent is male or female?

    1. 3.1

      No doubt, through an estimation based in classic nameISM…

  8. 2

    Is this a “how do you feel about it?” piece? Or a “what are you going to do about it?” piece?

  9. 1

    I work with women inventors all the time. I think it is just that not many women are engineers or scientists which is where most of the inventors come from.

    I don’t really see any barriers in large corporations for women to invent.

    1. 1.1

      I agree. This social justice warrior nonsense. Why does it have to be here too? And regarding the “data movement” generally, why are patent attorneys—technically skilled people—falling hook line and sinker for all these data shills that have popped up over the past few years. “Data analytics is essential to practicing patent law.” No. How about data lies and do your job the right way.

      1. 1.1.1

        social justice warrior nonsense

        Because we all know that the only “social justice” that really matters is the kind that results in more “solo inventor white dudes” getting cr @p patents that are easier to enforce.

        1. 1.1.1.1

          Your attempted insertions of particular ISMs belie your own bias and have nothing to do with the likes of those wanting a strong patent system.

          You have conflated your own cognitive dissonance against patents with other aspects of your liberal left “mind”set.

          Reality is vastly different than what your choice of “world view” portrays.

          1. 1.1.1.1.1

            Your attempted insertions of particular ISMs

            LOL

            My insertions? ROTFLMAO

            Go f ck yourself, hypocrite.

          2. 1.1.1.1.2

            Reality is vastly different than what your choice of “world view” portrays

            In what way? You really think it’s a coincidence that a Repu k k k n 0minated fraud installed at the PTO illegally opens the gates so the PTO can flood the system with more ineligible junk?

            Or that d00chebag commenters show up to make d00shbag comments about “social justice warriors” …. on a patent blog … where those same d00chebag commetners show up to make d00shbag comments about … not enough patents? This is just a coincidence?

            Or that some d00shebag white dude who burns his patents in publicized (microscopic) “protest” because he’s not getting enough of them … is closely associated with M@ngo H@irball?

            These are all just coincidences?

            Funny stuff, Billy.

            The reality is that I’ve been following the trends and documenting them for a long time. Your hero Big Jeans is a Repu k k ke, as you know. And a quintessential garden variety patent maximalist id I 0t.

            1. 1.1.1.1.2.1

              Your feelings are noted.

              As is your tendency to rely on feelings than any sense of actual reason.

              So yes, YOUR insertions have nothing to do with wanting stronger innovation protection.

            2. 1.1.1.1.2.2

              “In what way? You really think it’s a coincidence that a Repu k k k n 0minated fraud installed at the PTO illegally opens the gates so the PTO can flood the system with more ineligible junk?”

              To be 100% honest with you I would not, even putting partisanship aside, be even one iota surprised if Hilldawg the corporatist made the same maneuver there where corporatist Donny did.

              1. 1.1.1.1.2.2.1

                6,

                You alight upon an inconvenient fact: that the democrats have only been too friendly to certain Big Business interests.

                Malcolm is just not interested in ANY similarities between the two political parties (and any C R P of a political nature therein), and has voiced his opinion that anyone indicating that similarities may exist “must be” saying that the two parties are identical. Having made such an edict, he has clenched tight his eyes and thrust his fingers deep into his ears and chants “nanananana” when anyone tries to point out reality to him.

      2. 1.1.2

        Pros Monkey,

        While I disagree with Malcolm (and his response to you), I also disagree with your viewpoint.

        While indeed this IS a “social justice warrior” thing, it is NOT a “social justice warrior” thing that comes at the detriment of ALSO pursuing a strong patent system.

        In and of itself, the two form non-intersecting sets.

        The two can certainly be pursued independent one from the other.

        As Greg notes above (I agree with him more in concept than in particular), the different items carry with them different levels of effects.

        This is altogether natural.

        We can then discuss (agree or disagree) with the relative weights that may be applied to the different items.

        For example, Greg places a much stronger weight on systemic education.

        There is nothing wrong with wanting more weight on such a foundational item.

        That being said, I disagree with Greg as to weights — for innovation effects — as even improving a foundational aspect of education will NOT be the “dollars to dimes” type of driver if the patent system dissuades innovation by those selfsame “better educated” individuals (and individuals of all genders).

        1. 1.1.2.1

          “While indeed this IS a “social justice warrior” thing, it is NOT a “social justice warrior” thing that comes at the detriment of ALSO pursuing a strong patent system.”

          It will be when commieisms come in full. Trust me on that one. Every little piece is just a piece to a larger commie (muh equality between groups, here victim groups and oppressors, there proletariat and bourgeoisie) agenda. That’s the whole point to all “social justice” projects herp derp anon.

          “The two can certainly be pursued independent one from the other.”

          Hypothetically they can, but social justice warriors will not want them to be. Again, the whole point is “equality between groups”. Which in practice means the victims get ahead for about a hundred years of the oppressors, for the next hundred years artificially if necessary, and then after a hundred or two hundred years we drop it down to “equality”. This being because of past oppressions.

          1. 1.1.2.1.1

            It will be when commieisms come in full.

            That too — though, 6 — is also a separate thing.

            I “get” the trigger you are trying to pull, but meh, ALL “social justice warrior” themes are NOT lockstep with the FAR Liberal Left End desires.

            And make note, I am most definitely NOT for any type of “fight ___ISM with the same type of ___ISM, just placed on a different group

            My record is more than clear on that point.

          2. 1.1.2.1.2

            Additionally 6, you exhibit a similar “one-bucket” approach here.

            The truth of the matter is that NEITHER party owns all or nothing as to various aspects or attributes that may be in play.

            Back leading up to the last presidential election, I provided several posts and suggestions for people to check out the “I Vote With” web site.

            One of the features of that site was a two-dimensional map that indicated your overall political state after answering dozens of questions on a whole host of issues. The fact of the matter is that not only IS there a spectrum of beliefs, that spectrum is multi-dimensional.

            I reject both Malcolm’s and your laziness in not accounting for the factual nature of the multi-dimensional spectrum.

        2. 1.1.2.2

          It’s using data to tell a story that is a false but currently popular narrative. It’s a SJW or whatever you want to label it thing. An attack on rational thought thing.

      3. 1.1.3

        ” Why does it have to be here too?”

        Because you’re an ebil oppressor patriarch herp derp. Stop the oppressions of the whamens!

        1. 1.1.3.1

          Professionalism is a thing, you know.

          1. 1.1.3.1.1

            Meant that one for MM. What’s with the angry personal attacks. Relax.

      4. 1.1.4

        “”Data analytics is essential to practicing patent law.” No. How about data lies and do your job the right way.”

        Hah, exactly. Practice of law is about human nature and activities. It can’t be data-scienced.

        1. 1.1.4.1

          Sure it can. See Tegmark.

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