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.
- 5 Female Inventors Who Changed Life As We Know It
- Famous Women Inventors of the Modern Era
- Women Inventors and Discoverers
- USPTO General Information Concerning Patents
- Moving from Idea to Patent: When Do You Have an Invention?
- How to Patent an Idea: A Step-by-Step Guide
Best wishes for your health and wellness,