Both women and men are inventors and patent holders and rightfully so. However, it is estimated that women won’t hold as many patents as men in the United States until 2092. Adrienne Lafrance of The Atlantic wrote an amazing article called, “Why Do Women Inventors Hold So Few Patents.” In this piece she explains that it may have to do with various things: women sometimes have a lower paying job, less funding to engage in business risks, and tend to have smaller and lower-level professional networks than male counter-parts. http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2016/07/the-patent-gap/492065/
There’s also a theory about education-that a gender tech gap of less women in scientific or tech environments leads to less women inventors and thus less patent holders. It seems though that these trends are changing. More women are in tech and tech related education programs. And the patent world is now available to both women and men who are not necessarily career inventors. It’s a time of personal innovation and business planning. http://fortune.com/2016/07/21/patents-women-gender-gap/.
The Institute for Women’s Policy Research did a study this past July that looked at patent holders and gender. It found that four decades ago, 3 percent of all patents listed at least one woman inventor. In 2010, almost 19% did. What this means is 1. Women have quintupled as being patent holders (named as an inventor) and 2. That while there was a quintupling, more than 81 percent of patents have no named women. http://iwpr.org/publications/pubs/the-gender-patenting-gap/
Women have been inventing things for quite some time. This website http://science.howstuffworks.com/innovation/inventions/10-things-that-women-invented.htm features stories about women like Mary Kies who was the first American woman to earn a patent in her own name. Her special technique of weaving straw hats developed in 1809 became extremely popular in New England. “By receiving that piece of paper with her name on it, Kies led the way for other female inventors to take credit for their ideas.” Here is an other great resource that has great biographies of women inventors: http://www.biography.com/news/famous-women-inventors-biography
At Mohr IP Law we support the dreams and patents applications of both women and men. We want both young boys and young girls to know that regardless of who you are and where you are from, with hard work, process, and passion-things are possible. Please contact us today to schedule a 30 minute, no-cost consult to discuss the patent process with our team.
Picture from: http://www.slideshare.net/padmasree/technology-and-the-global-marketplace-1430672/10-Front_Center_Mary_Dixon_Kies