Diversity Woes in Patent Field Lead Lawyers to Try New Ideas
Harrity & Harrity, LLP’s research and innovative diversity initiatives are featured in a recent Bloomberg article on diversity in the patent field.
The article references research found in Elaine Spector and LaTia Brand‘s “Diversity in Patent Law: A Data Analysis of Diversity in the Patent Practice by Technology Background and Region” piece for ABA’s Landslide Magazine, including the following excerpt:
More ‘Michaels’ Than Racially Diverse Women
Fewer than 22% of patent attorneys and agents registered with the Patent and Trademark Office are women, a 2020 study led by the Virginia patent law firm Harrity & Harrity LLP found. Patent agents aren’t attorneys but can work on inventors’ patent applications.
The average number of PTO registrants who are racial minorities has been around 6.5% over the past two decades, according to the study.
“Among racially diverse women, the numbers are significantly worse,” the authors wrote in a September 2020 article for Landslide, a magazine published by the ABA’s Section of Intellectual Property Law.
“In fact, there are more patent attorneys and agents named ‘Michael’ in the United States than there are racially diverse women,” the authors wrote.
Managing Partner Paul Harrity is also quoted in the Bloomberg article, specifically with regard to Harrity’s upcoming Patent Pathways program.
“The Harrity & Harrity law firm has plans for a ‘Patent Pathways’ program this summer. It’s a free, 42-week virtual course, with the aim to register 20 underrepresented minorities with the patent bar in the first year.
The program will target engineering and science students, or individuals in those fields looking to change careers. Paul Harrity, a founding partner at the firm, said they’re looking to connect with candidates with presentations at universities and through groups like the National Society of Black Engineers.
Harrity said he stumbled into the patent field after seeing a job advertisement for a patent examiner position at the PTO. It’s not an uncommon experience.
‘A lot of people have the same story—somebody just mentioned it to them,’ Harrity said. ‘We want to be the people to mention it.'”
You can find the full article by Bloomberg Law HERE.
About Harrity & Harrity, LLP
Harrity & Harrity is a leading patent preparation and prosecution firm specializing in the electrical and mechanical technology areas, with a focus on giving back through its Harrity 4 Charity program and many diversity initiatives. Harrity is considered a Go-To Firm for the Patent 300™ and their clients trust in their high-quality work, experienced people, industry leading innovation, and outstanding service.
For more information on Harrity’s analytics, automation, and patent services, firm culture, and current openings, please visit harrityllp.com.