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Friday Apr 06, 2012

USPTO Establishes Method to Study Applicant Diversity Per AIA

From: Director David Kappos

The America Invents Act requires the USPTO to establish methods for studying the diversity of patent applicants, such as race, gender, veteran status, age, economic status, education, and geography (for individuals) as well as revenue, number of employees, and geography (for companies).  The AIA mandates that the USPTO have the methods in place by March 16, 2012.  To meet our statutory mandate, on March 16, 2012, the Agency released its method for studying applicant diversity:

Diversity of Applicant Methodology

In short, the Agency will follow a two-fold approach.  First, we are partnering with the U.S. Census Bureau to match diversity information for U.S. patent applicants.  The Census Bureau will produce aggregate information by group, for example, percentage of U.S. patent applicants who are female, as opposed to information on an individual U.S. patent applicant.  Second, the Agency will publish a Request for Information in the Federal Register inviting public comment on how the Agency might extend its methods to capture diversity information for foreign patent applicants, along with several other pertinent questions.  Once the Agency has completed its two-fold approach, we will then decide what further steps may be needed as we are committed to better understanding and reporting diversity information through this project.

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