USPTO Ramps Up Efforts to Promote Women Entrepreneurs

“The time is now to put women’s entrepreneurship into overdrive, and we are excited to launch this valuable initiative to shift it into gear.” – Kathi Vidal

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on Wednesday launched the Women’s Entrepreneurship (WE) initiative to “inspire women and tap their potential to meaningfully increase equity, job creation, and economic prosperity.” The initiative is a collaborative effort with the United States Department of Commerce.

“Unleashing the potential of women entrepreneurs is good for business, good for families and good for our economy,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo.

WE will focus on connecting women with each other, support networks, and funding sources. Additionally, the USPTO launched a new online hub that provides important information to aspiring women entrepreneurs. The website includes information on how to secure intellectual property rights and secure funding.

The agency is launching WE ahead of Women’s Entrepreneurship Day on November 19, and the announcement coincides with President Joe Biden dubbing November 2022 as National Entrepreneurship Month.

Inequality

Women are the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs across the globe, and, according to the World Economic Forum, about half of U.S. startups founded in 2021 were started by women. Additionally, research published in the Harvard Business Review found that Black women are the fastest-growing rate of entrepreneurs with 17% of Black women in the process of starting a business.

However, women are “less likely to be able to secure the capital and the intellectual property protections they need to attract investment and become sustainable,” according to the USPTO.

Data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Annual Business Survey bears out the gender inequality in U.S. business ownership. According to the survey data, men have a majority stake in 63% of U.S. businesses while women have a majority stake in only 21% of businesses. The Harvard Business Review research also found that only 3% of Black women are running mature businesses.

“Women are still vastly underrepresented in leadership positions in the U.S., and the percentage of women who decide to pursue an entrepreneurial career is lower than that of men,” said Kathi Vidal, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO.

In addition to entrepreneurship and business ownership, women also make up a much smaller portion of IP holders than their male counterparts. Despite decades of growth, only 13% of patents are held by women, according to a USPTO report.

In addition to a focus on women entrepreneurs, the USPTO is also trying to expand innovation opportunities for women in the United States. In July this year, the USPTO announced initiatives to help first-time patent filers and under-resourced inventors.

The private sector has also announced plans to close inequality gaps in entrepreneurship. Also in July, Qualcomm and IP diversity advocacy group Invent Together announced a new e-learning course to teach inventors from backgrounds that are underrepresented in U.S. business and innovation. According to Invent Together, $1 trillion would be added to the U.S. economy if Black/ Indigenous/ People of Color (BIPOC) and women inventors participated in the patent system at the same rate as white males.

Future Solutions

The USPTO and Department of Commerce are equally optimistic about the U.S. economy if women receive increased access to business opportunities.

“With this important initiative, our goal is to increase the number of women-led businesses to bolster jobs, consumer choice, and our economic prosperity. The time is now to put women’s entrepreneurship into overdrive, and we are excited to launch this valuable initiative to shift it into gear,” said Director Vidal.

The goal of the WE initiative is to help prospective or current women entrepreneurs to access capital and secure IP protections. The WE web portal includes resources for women looking for small business funding as well as how to start an IP application.

“The WE initiative will serve as a valuable resource to women on their journey to start a business and strengthen the community of women entrepreneurs that continue to power American prosperity,” said Secretary Raimondo.

As part of the initiative, the USPTO will host the Women’s Entrepreneurship Symposium series in March 2023. The official launch of the WE initiative will be on Wednesday, November 30 from 12–1 p.m. EDT at the USPTO headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia. More information is available on the USPTO website.

Share

Warning & Disclaimer: The pages, articles and comments on IPWatchdog.com do not constitute legal advice, nor do they create any attorney-client relationship. The articles published express the personal opinion and views of the author as of the time of publication and should not be attributed to the author’s employer, clients or the sponsors of IPWatchdog.com. Read more.

Join the Discussion

6 comments so far. Add my comment.

  • [Avatar for B]
    B
    November 20, 2022 11:29 am

    @ concerned “ Women do not have as many patents as men because women are the smarter . . . .”

    Moore and Newman are definitely no less than 1000x smarter than any of the men presently on the CAFC.

    I suspect at least three male CAFC judges were regularly consuming paint chips as children

  • [Avatar for concerned]
    concerned
    November 20, 2022 07:31 am

    Women do not have as many patents as men because women are the smarter gender. Women know better to pursue a fools errand such as a patent.

    We learned in Kindergarten: Girls get candy bars from Mars, boys get stupider at Juniper. And like the game of tag at recess, the patent rules and court decisions change as we go to serve a predetermine cause.

  • [Avatar for Pro Say]
    Pro Say
    November 19, 2022 02:04 pm

    . . . and more good news ladies!

    As time passes, it’s looking more and more like the new Patent Office Director is taking steps and instituting policies and procedures which will make it both harder to obtain your patents AND harder to hold on to them should you be fortunate enough to obtain them . . .

    . . . while concurrently launching an initiative to promote women entrepreneurs.

    So Kathi (a woman just like you!) — like Congress — also has your back!*

    * As long as you don’t want any patents protect your inventions.

  • [Avatar for Pro Say]
    Pro Say
    November 18, 2022 10:33 am

    Congratulations ladies!

    If and when you receive your patents, the CAFC looks forward with glee at the opportunity to rule that your patents (claims), too, are ineligible for patenting.

    While the FAANG / Big Tech cabal — and China, too! — looks forward to stealing your now-unpatented, free-for-the-taking innovations for themselves.

    But all is not lost, as Congress is going to hold hearings and take more input from all stakeholders to figure out what they should do!

    Congress has your back!

  • [Avatar for Anon]
    Anon
    November 18, 2022 09:02 am

    B,

    The phrase “consider the source” comes to mind:

    according to the World Economic Forum

    The context of most any WEF push is identity politics and the Liberal Left mantra that pushes it.

    “This” is not even merely empty virtue signaling, but is a more devious Motte and Bailly.

  • [Avatar for B]
    B
    November 18, 2022 05:49 am

    “ Women are the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs across the globe, and, according to the World Economic Forum, about half of U.S. startups founded in 2021 were started by women. ”

    So women, who are about half the population, are starting up half the businesses.

    Why exactly is Vidal wasting our money?

    Is the ISPTO going to start financing new companies?

    Will examiners treat female inventors differently?

    Will VCs be forced to pony up money based on some government moron’s idea if equity and diversity, or will this administration be handing out taxpayer dollars based on sex, race, transgender, etc.?

    Want to help businesses? Fire half the CAFC and replace them with competent people. Also fire Vidal and replace her with someone who is focused on patents more than diversity.

Add Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *