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Senate Committee Advances Bill Aimed at Greater Patent Diversity

April 29, 2021, 9:05 PM

A Senate committee advanced legislation designed to improve the available data about who is inventing, a step supporters say is important to improving diversity in the patent system.

The Inventor Diversity for Economic Advancement Act, or IDEA Act, would direct the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to collect certain demographic data, including gender and race, from patent applicants on a voluntary basis.

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved the bill, S. 632, on Thursday. Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), who sponsored it, said maintaining the U.S.’s position as a leader in innovation requires closing gender and racial gaps.

“Understanding the full ...

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