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Women who left the IP friendzone to change history

The relationship status of women and societal norms is complicated. Only the diligent dare to challenge the norms that have been so poorly structured in the first place.

Countless studies of approximately 2.7 million U.S. patent applications indicate that women have less favorable outcomes than men in the patent industry. Despite this hindrance, a good number of female inventors overcame society’s low standards and contributed sensational improvements to the world, including Torpedoes Radio Guidance devices, discovery of DNA structure, telomerase, the earth’s inner core, and our wonderful WiFi.

Inventing has always been a necessity for the world and is usually triggered by a specific need. However, sometimes the path to innovation is not so direct and comes out of tragedy. For example, a twelve-year-old inventor discovered her power to invent when she witnessed a steel shuttle fly off a cotton mill loom and stab a young boy. In her response to this event, Margaret E. Knight successfully invented a device in just a few weeks, to keep factory workers safe from the same incident. Due to her young age, she did not consider patenting this life saving invention.

Fast forward to Margaret’s early 30’s when the genius inventor wanted to improve her job workflow and so created machinery that automated folding and gluing paper bags. This time, Margaret planned to patent her intellectual property. During this planning process, she gave permission to a machinist, Charles Annan, to inspect her invention only to have him steal her idea and patent it before she did. After an intricate interference proceeding to battle the idea thief, she was finally awarded recognition for her idea in 1871. Margaret’s invention portfolio reached about 27 patents credited to her name.

Unfortunately, there are many modern day ‘Margaret E. Knights’ whose ideas have also been stolen by a patent thief. At LOCI, we’ve made it possible for inventors to submit their inventions into the global immutable data ledger, known as blockchain, to claim an idea and hold evidence of prior art. In other words, if Margaret Knights had had access to LOCI, she could have submitted her invention to the blockchain completely via LOCI the platform – then displayed her invention to the whole world, knowing that her claim was clearly visible on the immutable blockchain for all to see.

The woman who made WiFi possible was dubbed by Hollywood as, “The Most Beautiful Woman in the World.” Hedy Lamarr was an Austrian actress who sought a role in life that required more than just a pretty face. Inspired by her father’s love for technology, she launched a device that wirelessly manipulated the direction of torpedos. Upon realizing that the technology had loopholes for the enemy to thwart their efforts, Hedy and a friend built a “Secret Communication System” that was immutable from enemy manipulation. Her patented invention was later adopted by the U.S. Navy.  

In a world where the male to female global ratio is approximately 1:1, it is detrimental to discourage women inventors from creating. Technology plays a primary role in economic growth and overall human progress, making it essential to encourage everyone and anyone to invent and innovate. Thus, the patent system would do greatly to reduce the gender disparity in “maximizing the innovative potential for each would-be inventor” (1) and actively enforcing gender equality processes within the system.

LOCI was founded on the belief that everyone is an inventor and that technology serves to help unlock new discoveries and expand human potential. LOCI is a full service provider for inventors that is financially accessible and easy to use. LOCI tools such as LOCI Search and Invention Analysis provide a simple pathway to patenting an idea, thus empowering and enabling everyone to claim the ideas they’ve built.

Sources:

  1. https://www.newstatesman.com/spotlight-america/skills/2018/07/why-are-only-seven-cent-inventors-women
  2. https://8thlight.com/blog/elizabeth-engelman/2017/07/10/hedy-lamarr-more-than-the-most-beautiful-woman-in-the-world.html

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More about LOCI Invention Analysis

LOCI Invention Analysis helps new inventors determine the novelty and demand for their ideas before they spend money trying to patent. This is a huge cost savings of about 95% compared to traditional patent attorney searches. LOCI Invention Analysis can also help guide inventors toward “white space” where there are relatively few existing patents, where demand is high, so the inventor has the best possible chance of being awarded a patent, and/or selling their idea. Inventors can submit multiple iterations to help refine their idea and identify alternative applications of their invention. The ultimate goal of the inventor while using Invention Analysis is to achieve an optimal “LOCI Score” which indicates that their idea is unique, and in high demand.

More about LOCI

LOCI’s mission is to disrupt the global patent industry, and to change the way the world invents and values ideas. We specialize in simplifying the patent search process by utilizing unique visualizations and providing comprehensive analysis to help determine the novelty and demand of an idea. To further understand the landscape of IP and learn more about LOCI, sign up for the latest updates above or visit our website here.

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