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World Intellectual Property Day 2018 celebrates women inventors

By Dr David Cowan

26 April 2018 at 10:32 BST

WIPO celebrates World Intellectual Property Day 2018 by releasing data celebrating women inventors and warning a gender gap persists.

Indonesia became WIPO's 100th member this year WIPO

Celebrating World Intellectual Property Day 2018, the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) has released data show the highest-ever rate of women inventors, though WIPO's gender gap persists. The fields of biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and chemistry show the highest rates of women named as inventors in international patent applications filed via WIPO. New data reveal that in total, women were listed in 31 per cent of the 243,500 international patent applications published by WIPO in 2017, up from 23 percent a decade earlier.

Quest for parity

WIPO director general Francis Gurry said: 'Today we celebrate the innovative, creative accomplishments of women around the globe and across history who expand the frontiers of knowledge and culture. However, international patent applications are an important benchmark for measuring innovative activity in the contemporary, global economy - and anything less than full parity between men and women is an obvious cause for concern.' Fifty per cent of applications from the Republic of Korea listed at least one woman inventor, the highest among the 152 user countries of WIPO’s Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), followed by China (48 per cent), Belgium (36 per cent), Spain (35 per cent) and the United States of America (33 percent).

Top corporate users

Of the top 30 biggest corporate users of the PCT, Republic of Korea’s LG Chemicals had the highest rate of women listed as inventors with 73 percent, followed by Switzerland’s F. Hoffman –La Roche (69 percent), L’Oreal of France (67 per cent), USA’s Dow Global Technologies (63 percent) and Germany’s Henkel Kommanditgesellchaft Auf Aktien with 62 percent. Among academic institutions, Republic of Korea’s Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute of Korea ranked first with 83.3 percent.


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