EPO report reveals female representation is increasing among named inventors - but remains low

This Kat is looking out for female
Gender balance in the European intellectual property profession is a topic of much comment, with the EPO's recent publication of a study on female representation among inventors adding some interesting figures to the discussion. 

While the headline figure that 13.2% of inventors in Europe are women may seem low, the EPO is keen to emphasise that this is a considerable increase from previous decades. In the late 1970s, only 2% of inventors named on patent applications were female. 

In addition to discussing trends over time, the EPO's report is especially revealing in relation to differences between Member States - though not a single Member State had women make up even a third of named inventors for the period 2010-2019. Latvia had the highest percentage of female inventors at 30.6%, followed by Portugal and Croatia both hovering around a quarter. Germanic countries are overrepresented among those with the lowest shares, with Germany and Luxembourg both at 10% while Liechstenstein sits at 9.6% and Austria in last place with 8%. 

There are marked differences between different sectors, with chemistry winning first place with a 22.4% share of female inventors. Mechanical engineering trails in last place at 5.2%. Similarly, the UPC's recent judicial announcements revealed that two of 16 technically qualified appointees to the mechanical engineering field of technology were female (see Kat coverage here). Interestingly, the biotechnology and pharmaceuticals areas have had over 30% female inventors in the most recent period measured, yet not one woman was appointed as a technically qualified judge in the biotechnology area. Chemistry and pharmaceutics fared much better with four women out of 10 appointees.

The report authors note that the overall percentages are well below the percentage of female science and engineering graduates and researchers, while universities and public research institutions have greater representation of women than in the private sector. Taken together, these conclusions suggest that there remain structural barriers in institutions to recognizing female participation and representation.

Image: Own.

EPO report reveals female representation is increasing among named inventors - but remains low EPO report reveals female representation is increasing among named inventors - but remains low Reviewed by Sophie Corke on Friday, November 18, 2022 Rating: 5

1 comment:

  1. Rather than publishing verbose studies of limited interest and informative content, the upper management of the EPO would do better to take care of his staff, and especially its female members.

    The last attack on staff relates to sick leave as the conditions for obtaining it will be drastically reduced in the near future. For no apparent reason at all but to save money on the back of staff.

    The upper management of the EPO is behaving like industry owners of the 19thcentury. The upper management of the EPO confuses immunity with impunity, as there is a deep lack of judicial relief at the EPO.

    If in the past, a career at the EPO was a valuable aim, this is not any longer the case.
    And the AC is rubber stamping any measures decided by the upper management of the EPO. It has given up its control function and is happy when the EPO publishes such studies.


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