Recent research from the National Women's Business Council has taken a closer look at the gender differences among patent applicants in the past four decades, suggesting that the rise of female patent holders may lead to a surge in entrepreneurial activity and women-owned businesses.
NWBC researchers examined U.S. Patent and Trademark Office records dating back 35 years and indicated that the acceleration of women-led intellectual property has been even more pronounced than many originally thought. The largest single spike came when a 35 percent jump was observed in 2010, translating to nearly 23,000 patents granted to women.
"Patent and trademark ownership is an indicator of entrepreneurial activity - and historically women have not been a large segment of this group," NWBC chairperson Donna James noted. "A bump in IP ownership could indicate strong growth in women-owned companies."
Melissa Mowbray-D'Arbela, founder of biotechnology firm Filligent, is a prime example of this trend. In an interview with the Huffington Post, Mowbray-D'Arbela explained that intellectual property management has been on her mind from the very start in 2001. She has directed her colleagues to focus on developing "IP protectable innovations" to help establish a robust asset portfolio to form the company's foundation.
For innovators learning patent law from the ground up, as she once did, the Filligent founder recommended exploring the provisional application process to buy time before making the ultimate strategic decision.