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Closing Gender, Racial Gap in Inventing Probed at Senate Hearing

April 21, 2021, 8:09 PM

More regional patent offices and grassroots education were some of the ideas suggested at a Senate hearing for closing gender and racial gaps in the U.S. patent system.

Lawmakers speaking at the Wednesday hearing before the Senate Judiciary Intellectual Property Subcommittee warned that the underrepresentation of women and minorities in the patent system was costing the country billions of dollars each year.

“Securing a patent is complex, daunting, and expensive,” said Mallun Yen, a former Cisco Systems Inc. IP executive and the founder of Operator Collective, a Silicon Valley-based venture fund.

“If we want to capture the innovations that reflect...

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