Women in Academia Are Outperforming Their Peers in Industry in Gaining U.S. Patents

sugimotoA new study led by Cassidy R. Sugimoto, an associate professor of informatics in the School of Informatics and Computing at Indiana University in Bloomington, finds that women scholars at academic institutions are the driving force in the sharp rise of U.S. patents awarded to women.

Dr. Sugimoto and her team examined 4.6 million U.S. patents granted between 1976 and 2013 to individuals in 185 countries around the world. She found that in 1976 women were granted less than 3 percent of all patents. But by 2013, 10 percent of all patents granted to individuals employed by corporate entities went to women. For independent inventors, 12 percent of all patents went to women. But to patents awarded to individuals in the academic world, women earned 18 percent of all patents. The analysis also revealed that patents from women frequently included contributors from a wider variety of fields, suggesting women inventors were more collaborative and multidisciplinary.

Dr. Sugimoto has a bachelor’s degree in music performance, a master of library science degree, and a Ph.D. in information and library science, all from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The article, “The Academic Advantage: Gender Disparities in Patenting,” may be accessed here.

Filed Under: Research/Study


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