EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

02.09.18

‘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 this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Links 16/7/2019: Btrfs Gets 'Cleaned Up', Clonezilla Live 2.6.2-15

    Links for the day



  2. EPO Looney Tunes - Part 2: The “Difficult Legacy” and Its Dark Historical Shadow

    Assuming that he was informed, then it seems fair to say that Battistell’s little “joke” at the expense of the Boards was in very bad taste



  3. EPO Noise Machine Turned On as Haar Hearing Kicks Off, Patrick Corcoran Defamed Again

    The EPO does not want people to hear about Haar; it just wants people to hear about how wonderful the EPO is and there are some who have just decided to slander Patrick Corcoran again



  4. Microsoft is 'Doing Kamikaze' (神風) on Linux

    An analogy for what the Linux (only in name!) Foundation and Microsoft mean to Linux — or by extension to GNU/Linux and Free software whose largest repository Microsoft took control of



  5. The 'New' Linux.com Sometimes Feels Like a Microsoft Promotion Site

    Anything that the ‘Linux’ Foundation touches seems to turn into its proprietors’ agenda; one of those proprietors is Microsoft, which has a "Jihad" against Linux



  6. IBM is a Threat to the Internet, Not Just to Software Development (Due to Software Patents Aggression)

    IBM continues its aggression against technology — a fact that’s even more distressing now that IBM calls the shots at Red Hat



  7. EPO Looney Tunes - Part 1: Is D-Day Approaching for Battistelli’s “Difficult Legacy”?

    European patent justice isn’t working within the premises of EPOnia; a bunch of ‘show trials’ may in fact turn out to be just that — a show



  8. Links 16/7/2019: LXD 3.15, Q4OS 3.8 and D9VK 0.13f

    Links for the day



  9. Links 15/7/2019: Vulkan 1.1.115 and Facebook Openwashing

    Links for the day



  10. Microsoft Office 360 Banned

    OpenDocument Format (ODF, a real standard everyone can implement) and Free/libre software should be taught in schools; it's not supposed to be just a matter of privacy



  11. Microsoft, in Its Own Words...

    Sociopathy, incompetence and intolerance of the rule of law, as demonstrated by Microsoft's top managers



  12. Microsoft's WSL is Designed to Weaken GNU/Linux (on the Desktop/Laptop) and Strengthen Vista 10

    What Microsoft does to GNU/Linux on the desktop (and/or laptop) bears much resemblance to what Microsoft did to Java a couple of decades ago



  13. Links 14/7/2019: Linux 5.2.1, Unreal Engine 4.23 Preview, Linux Mint 19.2 Beta

    Links for the day



  14. 25,500 Blog Posts and Pages

    With our thirteenth anniversary just a few months away we're at a pace of about 2,000 posts per year



  15. With WSL Microsoft is Doing to GNU/Linux What It Did to Netscape

    Embrace, extend, extinguish. Some things never really change even if they become an old and repetitive accusation.



  16. Allowing Bad Guests to Become the Hosts

    Why the so-called 'Linux Foundation', a nonprofit that acts more like a PAC controlled by proprietary software companies and people who don't even use Linux, is increasingly becoming a Linux-hostile front group



  17. Honesty and Collaboration Make Free Software Stronger, Microsoft is Inherently a Misfit

    In spite of all the lies Microsoft and its Web sites spew out on a daily basis, nothing has really changed and Microsoft is still attacking Software Freedom (mostly from the inside nowadays, helped by FUD proxies such as WhiteSource and Snyk)



  18. Patent Certainty Waning, But That's Still OK for Patent Trolls

    Patent maximalism remains a threat to everyone but patent lawyers (and patent office chiefs who measure their own performance only by the number of patents granted); best served are the patent trolls who extrajudicially attack already-impoverished parties behind closed doors



  19. GitHub is Microsoft's Proprietary Software and Centralised (Monopoly) Platform, But When Canonical's Account There Gets Compromised Suddenly It's Ubuntu's Fault?

    Typical media distortions and signs that Microsoft already uses GitHub for censorship of Free/Open Source software that does not fit Microsoft's interests



  20. Canonical is Turning Ubuntu Into a More Proprietary Deviant of GNU/Linux

    Ubuntu is becoming more 'Ubinary'; binaries without their source code available are packed up and cooked up for (or baked into) the ISO; this may be good for widespread adoption, but it's not an advancement of freedom, a capitulation rather



  21. Links 13/7/2019: Librem 5 July Update, Project Trident 19.07, KDE Frameworks 5.60.0

    Links for the day



  22. The Problem Isn't Women or Minorities in Free Software But Particular Corporations That Exploit or Steer or Hijack Their Agenda

    If technical issues are being disguised using colours and genders (among other things), then it's important to highlight who's behind it (what company/ies) rather than fling back insults at people because it makes things worse



  23. There's No Such Thing as Cloud Computing, Serverless and All That Other Nonsense

    Buzzwords. Confronted.



  24. Linux is Doing 'Well' Only for Those Who Dislike Software Freedom and Love Control Over Users

    Linux, the kernel, has become a corporate playground or a sandbox that's used to upsell proprietary software, including surveillance; freedom in Linux is gradually being diminished if not completely obliterated and it does not worry the foundations entrusted to guard against it



  25. Consultation About Direction and Future Focus for Techrights

    We invite ideas and recommendations for the future of the site, notably which topics and aspects are worth covering as a matter of higher priority



  26. European Media Continues to Ignore the EPO Crisis While Law Firms and EPO Management Cover Things Up

    The EPO crisis silently deepens because serious problems are lied about, not acknowledged, and the legitimacy of European Patents is greatly diminished, not to mention the EPO's ability to attract talent



  27. Links 12/7/2019: Alpine 3.10.1 is Out and Red Hat Loses Oliva

    Links for the day



  28. Links 11/7/2019: KDE Plasma 5.16.3 and Verifying Gentoo Election Results

    Links for the day



  29. Campinos is Already Widely Seen as Battistelli the Second, Even Among EPO Stakeholders

    The Frenchmen in charge of the EPO may have a taste (and waste) for wine, but they have no clue how to run a patent office (except into the ground); patent application numbers are meanwhile falling (a reduction in demand)



  30. The EFF Responds to IBM's Liars and Lobbyists for Software Patents Just a Day After Red Hat is Officially Absorbed

    IBM's unacceptable stance and abominable actions on the patent front continue to haunt it; IBM must quickly dissociate and reconsider its patent strategy so as to not alienate thousands of workers (the real asset of Red Hat) it has just spent a fortune on


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