“The Patent Bar Gender Gap: Expanding the Eligibility Requirements to Foster Inclusion and Innovation in the U.S. Patent System”

November 19, 2020
IP Theory

IP Theory, a publication of the Indiana University Maurer School of Law, published an article by Patent Agent Mary Hannon that explores and criticizes certain requirements for patent bar admission which may unnecessarily exclude qualified women. Hannon’s article details the patent bar’s lack of gender representation, which she attributes to institutionally biased and an archaic set of scientific and technical requirements maintained by the United States Patent & Trademark Office. To achieve equal representation and foster greater inclusion and innovation in the U.S. patent system, Hannon offers three, specific recommendations for consideration: 1) expanding the enumerated technical degrees that automatically satisfy the scientific and technical requirements for patent bar eligibility; 2) removing the undue requirements regarding program accreditation (for computer science degrees) and coursework; and/or 3) implementing an apprentice model as an alternative path to patent bar eligibility.  

Readers may access Mary’s article “The Patent Bar Gender Gap: Expanding the Eligibility Requirements to Foster Inclusion and Innovation in the U.S. Patent System” by visiting IP Theory.