A new coalition will work to change the status quo among U.S. patent holders, who are largely white males, and introduce more diversity in inventing and patenting, according to an announcement shared exclusively with Axios.
Why it matters: The patent diversity gap limits opportunities for the majority of Americans and leaves the U.S. with less innovation serving a narrower population, advocates say.
The big picture: Invent Together, the new campaign launched this week, argues that increasing the number of women, people of color and low-income individuals who patent would “help close wage gaps, increase the GDP and lead to new and different inventions.”
What’s happening: Invent Together will promote public policy to support more diversity among inventors and aim to research and raise awareness about the lack of diversity in patenting, the group told Axios.
What they’re saying: “People are more focused on issues of diversity because of coronavirus, and its impact has laid bare some of the existing problems we face as a country related to race and gender,” Holly Fechner, a partner at Covington & Burling and executive director of the coalition, told Axios.
By the numbers:
Meanwhile, on Monday, the USPTO kicked off its own new effort, the National Council for Expanding American Innovation, with a goal of understanding the diversity gap in American patenting and innovation.
Editor’s note: This article has been updated to include the source for data on the race and income breakdown of patent holders.