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Cardozo Law and Google announce the Cardozo/ Google Patent Diversity Project

Grant From Google Helps Launch the Cardozo/Google Project for Patent Diversity

Initiative to help women and U.S.-born minority entrepreneurs obtain patents

August 21, 2017 - Cardozo School of Law, with the support of a $200,000 grant from Google, announced the launch of the Cardozo/Google Project for Patent Diversity, with the goal of becoming the go-to destination for women and other underrepresented entrepreneurs in need of patent assistance. The U.S. has a “patent gap.” Roughly one-third of all businesses in the U.S. are owned by women, and the number of women receiving undergraduate and graduate degrees in STEM fields is growing. Yet the percentage of women-owned patents remains stubbornly low. Today, 81 percent of all patents do not involve women inventors, and even among filings that include women, fewer than 8 percent of patents list women as the primary inventor. Although these numbers have been slowly improving, at current rates, women will not hold as many patents as men for nearly a century—until 2092.

The story for U.S.-born minority members (including Asian Americans, African Americans, Latino Americans, Native Americans and other ethnicities) is largely the same. These groups make up just 8 percent of U.S.-born patent holders, despite constituting 32 percent of the total U.S.-born population.

Professor Aaron Wright, the director of Cardozo’s Tech Startup Clinic, will oversee the Cardozo/Google Project for Patent Diversity. The project will systematically address these problems by building and maintaining a network of in-house counsel, private law firms and pro bono legal clinics to help provide patent assistance to female and minority group members in need of representation. Google’s generous two-year grant will be used to employ a full-time director to build and manage the network, develop guides and other self-help materials, and supervise students in the Tech Startup Clinic working with clients on patent-related matters.

“We are thrilled that Google is helping us find ways to increase the number of women and minority inventors that hold patents,” said Dean Melanie Leslie. “With Google’s help we will break down barriers.”

Cardozo School of Law has one of the most robust Intellectual Property programs in the country, boasting a faculty with expertise in blockchain technology, Internet privacy, entertainment, fashion and music law, and more. Cardozo’s IP program is currently ranked second in New York City and among the top 12 in the nation by U.S. News and World Report.

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