Earlier this year, the USPTO launched the new Expanding Innovation Hub Platform. The Hub is designed to help foster inventorship from underrepresented groups including both female and minority inventors. As emphasized by USPTO Director Andrei Iancu, “To maintain our technological leadership, the United States must seek to broaden our intellectual property ecosystem demographically, geographically, and economically.”
The Hub includes an educational toolkit to help new inventors understand the system, mentoring programs to match inventors with individuals who can help them succeed in the system, and community groups to foster support and cooperation between inventors. The Hub will also serve as a base for events and programming focused on spurring innovation from the underrepresented groups.
Now, the USPTO has established the National Council for Expanding American Innovation (“NCEAI”). The Council is made up of 29 practitioners and Federal representatives and is tasked with building “a more diverse and inclusive innovation ecosystem” as emphasized by Director Iancu above. Part of the Council’s task will be period reporting such as the “Progress and Potential” report on female inventorship to hold the council accountable to the stated goals.
Per the Director of Commerce, Wilbur Ross, “It is critical that industry, academia, and government work together to strengthen our culture of innovation by encouraging the participation of young people from diverse backgrounds.”
One shining example of success Is the celebrated Dr. Marian Cloak, who was honored with an “Inventor Card” as part of the USPTO’s collectible card series. Dr. Croak emphasized the need for support and role models, explaining that “I think the more role models that people have, the more inspired they are to understand that they are capable of doing anything.” Dr. Croak will join Director Iancu later in October in the USPTO Speaker Series to address her path to success, her pioneering of VoIP advancements and 200 patents, and the goals of Direcor Iancu’s goals for a more diverse innovation pool.
However, these goals cannot be achieved by the USPTO or even the federal government alone. In the NCEAI are 29 industry representatives similarly committed to the cause, but industry support must be expanded for this to be successful.
Maier & Maier has long been a supporter of diverse inventorship in the industry, with a strong commitment to underserved inventors. Maier & Maier has made it a firm priority to assist solo inventors whenever possible and has a demonstrated commitment to leveling the playing field for inventors and practitioners alike. Our team consists of a diverse group of individuals speaking a variety of languages and from a variety of different countries, backgrounds, and identities.
We are committed to continuing on this path, and we welcome underrepresented inventors and practitioners to reach out to us at any time.