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Posts Tagged: "STEM"

Now Is the Time to Reimagine University IP Education

Higher education is undergoing a seismic transformation as a result of a once-in-a-century pandemic. Administrators and faculty around the world are quickly overhauling how they provide instruction to students while trying to keep them on the path to graduation. With change in the academic space already underway, now is the time for colleges and universities to reinvent their innovation ecosystems and implement the intellectual property (IP) education methods and policies that students need to thrive in our knowledge economy.

Boys Will Be Boys: Getting a Foot in the Funding Door for Women Entrepreneurs

Much has been written on women’s disproportionate numbers as scientists trained in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), as well the under-representation of women as inventors of record on USPTO patents. These statistics relate to women’s role in scientific development and inventorship, or in other words: in the creation of intellectual property (IP). Having said that, the reasons why women don’t get funded have little to do with IP, and much to do with the institutional structure of the venture capital (VC) ecosystem, as well as the corporate representation (or lack thereof) of women in senior management and board positions.

House Small Business Committee Tackles Diversity Gap in Patenting Debate

The House Small Business Committee met earlier today for a hearing titled “Enhancing Patent Diversity for America’s Innovators,” in which members of Congress heard from witnesses on ways to improve the sizeable patenting gap that exists for women, minorities and low-income individuals. As of 2016, less than 20% of U.S. patents listed one or more women as inventors, while under 8% listed a woman as the primary inventor; only six patents per million people were attributed to African American inventors; and children born to high income families are ten times more likely to obtain a patent than children from below median income families, said Committee Chairwoman, Representative Nydia Velázquez (D-NY).

This Week in Washington IP: Library of Congress Modernization, China’s Techno-Governance and Big Tech’s Exposure of User Data

This week in our nation’s capital, the U.S. Senate is the lone house of Congress that will host hearings on tech and innovation topics. On Tuesday, Senate subcommittees will explore national security concerns related to big tech use of user data along with NASA’s efforts to improve the STEM workforce. On Wednesday, a few legislative hearings will commence to look at bills related to government AI, cybersecurity and geothermal innovation, among other tech subjects. Elsewhere in D.C., the Center for International and Strategic Studies explores the future of the electrical grid and China’s efforts towards techno-governance.

A Response to Claims of Patent Propaganda and a Plea for Interpretive Charity in IP Debate

Following a panel I spoke on with my colleagues Charles Duan of the R Street Institute, Abby Rives of Engine, and Ian Wallace from New America, Lydia Malone wrote a piece critical of our comments on this site. I thank IPWatchdog for the opportunity to respond. Appreciating that Ms. Malone characterizes her piece as “one view” of the above-referenced panel, I wish to offer another, hopefully more complete view of last week’s discussion. For example, one feature of Tuesday’s panel is the panel’s discussion of how high-quality patents are an important, valuable, and in some cases necessary element of the innovation ecosystem. I respectfully disagree with Ms. Malone’s assertion that the panel “concluded that we should abolish patents and begin centrally planning the subsidization of research and development for all innovation, all in the interests of their ‘free market.’”

This Week in D.C.: NASA Deep Space Exploration, Small Business and Innovation, and Transportation Sustainability

This week in the U.S. Capitol and Washington D.C area., technology and innovation hearings in the House of Representatives will focus on tech at the Environmental Protection Agency, small business contract programs at the Small Business Administration, NASA’s deep space exploration program and sustainability technologies for the transportation sector. Over in the Senate, committee hearings will look at the mineral supply chain for clean energy tech and the regulation of extremist content on digital platforms in response to mass violence. The week kicks off with a discussion at the Brookings Institution of the impacts of federal data privacy legislation, while the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation will host a mid-week event on data-driven innovations in drug development.

USPTO Report: Only Four Percent of Patents Name Women-Only Inventors Over the Last Decade

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) released a report on Monday that paints a rather dire picture for women inventors. The report, “Progress and Potential: A profile of women inventors on U.S. patents,” outlines trends in women inventors named on U.S. patents from 1976 to 2016. As of 2016, 21% of U.S. patents included at least one female inventor. In the 1980s, it was 7%. The picture is much worse, however, when considering patents where the only inventor is female, or where a group of all women are named. According to the report, “In the last decade, all-female invented patents constituted only about 4% of issued patents. Accordingly, the growth in women inventorship, as measured by the share of patents with at least one female inventor, is almost entirely due to women’s participation on gender-mixed teams.”

Bloomberg Innovation Index is Latest Sign US Innovation Economy is in Dire Straits

For the first time since the inception of the Bloomberg Innovation Index, the U.S. ranked outside the top 10, ranking 11th out of the 50 economies. This latest dip in standing for the U.S. innovation economy is simply the most recent sign that significant issues exist relative to innovation and intellectual property… Another trend pointed out by the recent Bloomberg Innovation Index is the slow rise of the innovation economy in China which has shown signs of improving just as the United States continues to be unable to address key IP issues. China climbed two rank positions in the most recent version of the Bloomberg index, up to 19th from 21st the previous year.

Google Downplays Importance of STEM Education Despite Increased Job Opportunities and Wage Prospects for Workers

Looking at the results of multi-year studies conducted by Google into its own employment practices, including hiring standards and team productivity, Davidson noted Google’s own findings that a hard skills from a STEM education were not as important as softer skills such as curiosity, empathy and emotional intelligence… On January 18th, NBC News THINK published a thought piece penned by Google CEO Sundar Pichai in which Pichai argues that the traditional stance on education, whereby students would graduate from academic institutions with the assumption that they had learned lifelong career skills, is no longer tenable given the rapid changes posed by technology. Pichai argued in favor of moving away from “code and intensive degrees” towards a more “lightweight, focused model” featuring apprenticeship and certification programs, some of which can be completed in less than one year.

Girl Scouts’ IP Patch is helpful program for encouraging STEM education

The Girl Scouts of America, in conjunction with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the Intellectual Property Owners (IPO) Education Foundation, is doing its part to promote innovative thinking patterns among girls with the creation of the Intellectual Property (IP) Patch. The IP Patch is available to Girl Scouts in four different levels: Brownie; Junior; Cadette; and Senior.

Increasing Number of Women Patent Holders Can Spur U.S. Innovation, Grow the Economy

On Thursday, December 1, I attended the Innovation Alliance’s panel on Closing the Patent Gender Gap: How Increasing the Number of Women Patent Holders Can Spur U.S. Innovation and Grow the Economy. The panel, which was moderated by the Licensing Manager for the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, Jennifer Gottwald, Ph.D discussed the recent findings of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research and their report on Equity in Innovation: Women Inventors and Patents that was released on November 29, 2016, which explores how women are “underrepresented” among patent holders as well as their relative success in being granted patents when they do apply for them.

The Patent Gender Gap: Less than 20% of U.S. patents have at least one woman inventor

Although women have more than quintupled their representation among patent holders since 1977, a pronounced patent gender gap remains. In 2010, according to a new briefing paper by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), fewer than one in five patents had at least one woman inventor named. Although quintupling the number of women inventors over the last 30+ years is impressive, at the current growth rate it is projected that it will take until 2092 for women to reach parity in patenting.

China is waging an Information War by investing in scientific research and stealing foreign IP

In recent years, the Chinese government has promoted a roadmap towards “indigenous innovation” which would see the country become a technological superpower by the year 2050. This would be fine if China intended to do so while following international rules regarding intellectual property, but it seems pretty intent on flouting whatever regulations get in the country’s way in that regard. News reports in recent years indicate that China continues to press foreign entities to follow joint venture rules in which foreign players are required to transfer IP to Chinese domestic firms despite the fact that this breaks rules put in place by the World Trade Organization, of which China has been a member since 2001.

Clinton tech agenda supports STEM education, infrastructure upgrades for Internet access

Clinton’s tech agenda revolves around five main points that she hopes will lead to American dominance in research and development as well as overall innovation. First, she’s pledged to devote resources to educational innovations that will position U.S. workers well for the well-paying tech jobs of today and the near future. Second, she’s pushing for major infrastructure upgrades that she argues will bring broadband Internet access to a much wider audience. Her third point focuses on protecting American tech export interests to countries abroad. Her fourth agenda point discusses a framework by which concepts of the open Internet as well as personal privacy can be balanced. Finally, her fifth point hones in on the ways that technology can make government agencies more efficient and effective.

USPTO Launches Redesigned KIDS! Web Pages

The USPTO announced the launch of its newly redesigned KIDS! Web pages aimed to encourage students of all ages to learn about the importance of intellectual property (IP) creation and protection. In addition to featuring young inventor profiles, activities, and videos, the pages also offer curricula that link Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education to IP and innovation through downloadable lesson plans, hands-on instructions for building inventions, USPTO career information and other useful resources.