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Women Inventors in Academia Have Highest Rate of Filing Patents

A new study conducted by Indiana University researchers has revealed that women inventors in academia have the highest rate of growth over a nearly forty-year period among women inventors in other sectors such as industry, government, and as individuals. The research, led by Associate Professor Cassidy R. Sugimoto from the School of Informatics and Computing at IU Bloomington, analyzed 4.5 million issued patents from 1976 to 2013. The researchers were surprised by the finding since patenting is still an optional activity in considering promotions among faculty.

The rate for academic women inventors rose from 2-3 percent to 18 percent. Possible explanations included the effects of passage of the Bayh-Dole Act, academic emphasis on collaborative and multidisciplinary work, and the efforts of university TTO’s to encourage commercialization among university inventors. To read the study, “The Academic Advantage: Gender Disparities in Patenting,” by Cassidy R. Sugimoto, Chaoqun Ni, Jevin D. West, and Vincent Lariviere, published in the online journal PLOS ONE, go to http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0128000. See a review of the study on Phys.org at http://phys.org/news/2015-07-patent-women-risen-fastestacademia.html.

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