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Witnesses Explain Benefits of Intellectual Property Protections for America’s Innovators

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Washington, January 15, 2020 | comments

WASHINGTON – Today, the House Committee on Small Business heard from a panel of experts on patent diversity and intellectual property (IP) protections.

“Studies show that small business owners with IP protections can earn 32 percent more in revenue compared to their counterparts who have none.  Firms with IP rights also pay, on average, 20 percent more in wages,” said Ranking Member Steve Chabot (R-OH).  “In the 115th Congress I worked to get the SUCCESS Act passed.  This law became the starting point for this hearing and gave the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office the opportunity to collaborate with the SBA in order to study and reach recommendations for how to better include women and minorities in entrepreneurship and patent activities.”

Panel Underlines Importance of Promoting Diversity in Patent Applications

“The IP index – Intellectual Property index – which measures economies across some 50 countries, what it does is shows a correlation between intellectual property protections, patents, job creation, and success/growth of business. That has been a consistent trend, and probably the most important trend, that I think should be the basis of… this conversation: how do we increase entrepreneurs and innovators across diverse communities so as to create more jobs and create to the positive forces of our economy,” said Mr. Rick C. Wade, Vice President, Strategic Alliances and Outreach, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in Washington, DC. 

In response to a question by Ranking Member Chabot about barriers for women trying to enter the patent process, Ms. Andrea Ippolito, Program Director of W.E. Cornell, Cornell University, in Ithaca, NY said, “The two biggest barriers are exposure and... the high cost of patenting.  So, we know there’s a growing number of STEM [science, technology, engineering, and mathematics] women that are entering this field, and they’re going out to the private sector – by the way, there’s an overwhelming number of patents coming from the private sector, particularly in patent intensive fields like electrical engineering and mechanical engineering – so the biggest barrier is getting exposure to these STEM women, that we know are getting this education, but we’re not efficiently using that talent pool.  So, if we can direct resources, programs like the ones the panelists have talked about to educate them and expose them – show them role models – you can’t be what you can’t see.”

“We are now currently in our fourth industrial revolution, and… technology is at the core of that, and so if entrepreneurs and small business owners are not putting technologies into their business, owning their own patents, we’re losing out on jobs… we’re losing out on being able to be a part of the economy that is now being created today,” said Ms. Janeya Griffin, Managing Member and Principal Consultant, The Commercializer, LLC, in Lancaster, CA. 

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