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Female inventorship on the rise worldwide

Staff Writer | November 15, 2016
The UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) analysis of patent applications has shown that the gender gap in worldwide patenting, while substantial, is now decreasing.
Woman inventor
Doing business   Global Intellectual Property Index
Since 2000 there has been a 60% increase in the proportion of female inventors worldwide. However absolute numbers remain relatively low. In 2000 only 6.8% of all inventors worldwide were female, in 2015 this rose to 11.5%.

In the UK female inventorship has risen by 16% in the last 10 years alone, and the UK has recently been ranked best place to patent in the world in Taylor Wessing’s Global Intellectual Property Index.

Data drawn from more than 234 years’ worth of patent applications has revealed that the proportion of female inventors varies by country.

Russia (15.7%) and France (11.7%) have the highest proportion of female inventors while countries such as Germany (5.5%) and Japan (3.7%) have some of the lowest. In Britain the proportion of female inventors is 7.3%.

The highest proportion of female inventors are in chemistry fields such as biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, while the lowest proportion of female inventorship is seen in mechanical engineering.

The research also notes that patent applications often involve a team of inventors and that women are increasingly involved in such teams. In 2014 over 25% of worldwide patent applications involved at least one female inventor.