02.09.18

Gemini version available ♊︎

‘Women in IP’: When the Gender Card is Used to Distract From Patent Policy

Posted in America, Patents at 3:20 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Focus on wealth, not gender

Royal flush

Summary: As various patent blogs turn to writing about (legitimate) issues of opportunities, the main subject people ought to be talking about is who benefits from patents in economic terms

THE EPO and the USPTO both use what’s sometimes known as the “gender card” (it’s not really a loaded term, but it has a negative connotation within some circle, just like “social justice warrior”, “virtue-signaling” and so on). They use it for marketing purposes. We have given examples over the years. This post isn’t about the groups that get associated with this debate (we’re not interested in that sort of debate); we just want to point out that sometimes, as in the case of a study from some months ago, genders and ethnic minorities get exploited to relay particular talking points, e.g. claims that propose false correlations, overlooking the connection between personal wealth and patents, instead focusing on race and gender.

“There is some news today about patent scope, notably patents on life. We would like to remain focused on such matters and not enter the potentially divisive realms of discrimination, intolerance and so on.”The question of gender is often brought up — at times unnecessarily — also in the software world, typically when the debate shifts from engineering to matters of ethics. That’s not because of a perception of engineering/gender (or even potential/opportunity) gap but a variety of other reasons. There’s a very long discussion at IP Kat about it (started earlier this week when “Merpel” wrote about diversity). Watchtroll also mentioned that a couple of days ago, citing this article about female lawyers. To quote:

A framed photo of trial consultant Tara Trask with a gaggle of lawyers and clients she advised on a patent case hangs in her office. The team smiles proudly outside a Texas courthouse, following a hard-fought win.

Two years later, when Trask set out to research the diversity of the intellectual property trial teams she’d worked with, something she hadn’t noticed in that photo jumped out: she was the only woman in a group of 13 white men.

In a sample of 50 attorneys in seven intellectual property trials she consulted on from January to August 2017, Trask found most were tried and led by white male attorneys. The majority were patent cases.

Women are underrepresented in many domains, not just law. And there are many reasons for why that happens. It’s not a good thing. Having said that, what troubles us at times is how the gender/race issue gets interjected to manipulate completely and patently unrelated debates, such as the above-mentioned distraction from the correlation between wealth and patenting (not related to either race or gender). There is some news today [1,2] about patent scope, notably patents on life. We would like to remain focused on such matters and not enter the potentially divisive realms of discrimination, intolerance and so on. Sadly, many people do in fact manipulate those things.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Federal Court rules controversial cattle genome patent invalid

    Australia’s cattle industry has scored a win against the US-based owners over a patent application it feared would put the brakes on improvement in Australia’s cattle herd.

    The Federal Court rejected the patent application, saying it was unclear in its scope, that it failed to adequality describe what the invention was, and whether there was an industrial application for it.

    Meat and Livestock Australia spends hundreds of millions of dollars on genetic research in cattle, and feared the patent application threatened Australian farmers’ access to important genomic testing.

  2. Supreme Court pregabalin hearing to have a big impact on UK pharma patent rights

    Next week’s UK Supreme Court hearing on the long-running patent dispute over pregabalin will be watched closely by life sciences innovators.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Clare Daly (GUE/NGL) Does What Every Public Official in Europe Should Have Done About EPO Shenanigans

    There’s another (new) push to hold the EPO accountable, seeing that the overseers clearly do not do their job and instead cover up the abuses



  2. Links 7/12/2021: Firefox 96 Beta and Fedora 37 Abandons ARMv7

    Links for the day



  3. Links 7/12/2021: Plasma Mobile Gear 21.12 and Tails 4.25

    Links for the day



  4. All IRC Logs Now Available as GemText Over Gemini Protocol

    Today we've completed the transition from plain text over gemini:// to GemText over gemini:// for IRC logs



  5. IRC Proceedings: Monday, December 06, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, December 06, 2021



  6. [Meme] Rowing to the Bottom of the Ocean

    The EPO‘s Steve Rowan (VP1) is failing EPO staff and sort of “firing” workers during times of crisis (not at all a crisis to the EPO’s coffers)



  7. EPO Gradually Reduced to 'Fee Collection Agency' Which Eliminates Its Very Own Staff

    Mr. Redundancies and Mr. Cloud are outsourcing EPO jobs to Microsoft and Serco as if the EPO is an American corporation, providing no comfort to long-serving EPO staff



  8. Linux Foundation 2021 Annual Report Made on an Apple Mac Using Proprietary Software

    Yes, you’re reading this correctly. They still reject both “Linux” and “Open Source” (no dogfooding). This annual report is badly compressed; each page of the PDF is, on average, almost a megabyte in size (58.8 MB for a report of this scale is unreasonable and discriminates against people in countries with slow Internet connections); notice how they’re milking the brand in the first page (straight after the cover page, the 1991 ‘creation myth’, ignoring GNU); remember that this foundation is named after a trademark which is not even its own!



  9. Links 7/12/2021: OpenIndiana Hipster 2021.10 and AppStream 0.15

    Links for the day



  10. Microsoft “Defender” Pretender Attacks Random Software That Uses NSIS for installation; “Super Duper Secure Mode” for Edge is a Laugh

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  11. Links 6/12/2021: LibreOffice Maintenance Releases, Firefox 95 Finalised

    Links for the day



  12. “Wintel” “Secure” uEFI Firmware Used to Store Persistent Malware, and Security Theater Boot is Worthless

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  13. No Linux Foundation IRS Disclosures Since 2018

    The publicly-available records or IRS information about the Linux Foundation is suspiciously behind; compared to other organisations with a "tax-exempt" status the Linux Foundation is one year behind already



  14. Jim Zemlin Has Deleted All of His Tweets

    The Linux Foundation‘s Jim Zemlin seems to have become rather publicity-shy (screenshots above are self-explanatory; latest snapshot), but years ago he could not contain his excitement about Microsoft, which he said was "loved" by what it was attacking. Days ago it became apparent that Microsoft’s patent troll is still attacking Linux with patents and Zemlin’s decision to appoint Microsoft as the At-Large Director (in effect bossing Linus Torvalds) at the ‘Linux’ Foundation’s Board of Directors is already backfiring. She not only gets her whole salary from Microsoft but also allegedly protects sexual predators who assault women… by hiring them despite repeated warnings; if the leadership of the ‘Linux’ Foundation protects sexual predators who strangle women (even paying them a salary and giving them management positions), how can the ‘Linux’ Foundation ever claim to represent inclusion and diversity?



  15. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part IX — Microsoft's Chief Architect of GitHub Copilot Sought to be Arrested One Day After Techrights Article About Him

    Balabhadra (Alex) Graveley has warrant for his arrest, albeit only after a lot of harm and damage had already been done (to multiple people) and Microsoft started paying him



  16. The Committee on Patent Law (PLC) Informed About Overlooked Issues “Which Might Have a Bearing on the Validity of EPO Patents.”

    In a publication circulated or prepared last week the Central Staff Committee (CSC) of the EPO explains a situation never explored in so-called 'media' (the very little that's left of it)



  17. Links 6/12/2021: HowTos and Patents

    Links for the day



  18. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, December 05, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, December 05, 2021



  19. Gemini Space/Protocol: Taking IRC Logs to the Next Level

    Tonight we begin the migration to GemText for our daily IRC logs, having already made them available over gemini://



  20. Links 6/12/2021: Gnuastro 0.16 and Linux 5.16 RC4

    Links for the day



  21. Links 5/12/2021: Touchpad Gestures in XWayland

    Links for the day



  22. Society Needs to Take Back Computing, Data, and Networks

    Why GemText needs to become 'the new HTML' (but remain very simple) in order for cyberspace to be taken away from state-connected and military-funded corporations that spy on people and abuse society at large



  23. [Meme] Meanwhile in Austria...

    With lobbyists-led leadership one might be led to believe that a treaty strictly requiring ratification by the UK is somehow feasible (even if technically and legally it's moot already)



  24. The EPO's Web Site is a Parade of Endless Lies and Celebration of Gross Violations of the Law

    The EPO's noise site (formerly it had a "news" section, but it has not been honest for about a decade) is a torrent of lies, cover-up, and promotion of crimes; maybe the lies are obvious for everybody to see (at least EPO insiders), but nevertheless a rebuttal seems necessary



  25. The Letter EPO Management Does Not Want Applicants to See (or Respond to)

    A letter from the Munich Staff Committee at the EPO highlights the worrying extent of neglect of patent quality under Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos; the management of the EPO did not even bother replying to that letter (instead it was busy outsourcing the EPO to Microsoft)



  26. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, December 04, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, December 04, 2021



  27. EPO-Bribed IAM 'Media' Has Praised Quality, Which Even EPO Staff (Examiners) Does Not Praise

    It's easy to see something is terribly wrong when the people who do the actual work do not agree with the media's praise of their work (a praise motivated by a nefarious, alternate agenda)



  28. Tux Machines is 17.5 Years Old Today

    Tux Machines -- our 'sister site' for GNU/Linux news -- started in 2004. We're soon entering 2022.



  29. Approaching 100

    We'll soon have 100 files in Git; if that matters at all...



  30. Improving Gemini by Posting IRC Logs (and Scrollback) as GemText

    Our adoption of Gemini and of GemText increases; with nearly 100,000 page requests in the first 3 days of Decembe (over gemini://) it’s clear that the growing potential of the protocol is realised, hence the rapid growth too; Gemini is great for self-hosting, which is in turn essential when publishing suppressed and controversial information (subject to censorship through blackmail and other ‘creative’ means)


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts