Women Patent Holders on the Rise – But Still a Minority

How many of the following women can you identify?

  • Hannah Wilkinson Slater
  • Hazel Irwin
  • Mary Dixon Kies

According to the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), these women were among only seventy-two women who were granted patents between 1790 and 1859 while fellow male inventors racked up over thirty-two thousand patents. The USPTO reports a rise in the number of patents awarded to women but notes that “the percentage of all patent inventors that are women, or the annual ‘women inventor rate,’ reached only 12% in 2016.”

The reasons behind the lower women inventor rate are varied but gender bias may be a significant contributing factor. According to Yale Insights, the researchers in one study found that “women inventors with common names had an 8.2% lower chance of getting their patents approved. But the difference in probability of approval fell to 2.8% for those with rare names, where it would be tougher for an examiner to guess the applicant’s gender.”

The road to an issued patent takes time, energy and money. As a patent-holder myself, however, I encourage you to think about getting your great idea patented and commercialized. To learn more about women inventors and how to patent an idea, check out the references below – and definitely let me know if you are a woman patent owner, or currently pursuing a patent.

Best wishes for your health and wellness,

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