Lawmakers Reintroduce Bill To Quantify Patent Diversity Gap

By Andrew Karpan (March 10, 2021, 6:31 PM EST) -- A bill that would allow the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to collect demographic information on patent applications was revived by a bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers on Tuesday after a similar effort failed to get past committee last term.

The Inventor Diversity for Economic Advancement, or IDEA, Act would enable the patent office to voluntarily collect information about an applicant's gender, race, military or veteran status. According to the bill, that information would be submitted confidentially and wouldn't be considered during the patent examination process.

The measure was proposed by Sens. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, and Thom Tillis, R-N.C., along with...

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