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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The (Gender) Patent Gap

Here's an interesting (and brief) podcast and companion blogpost on the gender gap in terms of patent filings ("The Patent Gap"). Based on a recent paper by Jennifer Hunt, Jean-Philippe Garant, Hannah Herman, and David J. Munroe ("Why Don't Women Patent?"), the podcast notes that only 5.5% of commercialized or licensed patents are held by women and that this gap cannot be significantly explained by the fact that fewer women hold science and engineering degrees, as “women with such a degree are scarcely more likely to patent than women without.” The podcast (and the paper) further argues that closing the “patent gap” could “increase U.S. GDP per capita by 2.7%.” Not a bad jolt for an economy that's been struggling in recent years. Finally, the podcast offers suggestions as to how this gap can be closed. It is only about 5 minutes long and time well spent.

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