Request for Comments on Methods for Studying the Diversity of Patent Applicants

The USPTO has issued a Federal Register “Request for Comments on Methods for Studying the Diversity of Patent Applicants.” Click here to see a copy of the request: 78-72064 – PTO – MethodsStudyDiversityPatentApplicants-ComReq (2)

The December 2 Request for Comment states that the USPTO “is interested in gathering information on approaches for studying the diversity of patent applicants in accordance with research methodology developed as required by the America Invents Act (AIA or Act). To assist in gathering this information, the USPTO invites the public to provide comments on collecting information on the diversity of patent applicants consistent with the AIA.”

The USPTO seeks comments on the following questions:
(1) How and by which methods should the USPTO effectively study patent applicant diversity in accordance with the expressed intent of Congress in Section 29 of the AIA?

(2) Should the USPTO conduct surveys of patent applicants to obtain demographic data such as race, gender, age, and geography, of inventors as a group?

(3) Aside from surveys, how can the USPTO effectively collect personal identifying information about U.S. and non-U.S. patent applicants in order to study applicant diversity through improved data matching, analytics, and studies?
(a) Should the USPTO collect certain personal identifying information about U.S. and non-U.S. patent applicants on a mandatory basis or on a voluntary basis? How would each of these approaches affect the accuracy of the information being provided?
(b) Can USPTO effectively collect personal identifying information from other institutions or organizations about U.S. and non-U.S. patent applicants?

(4) What particular personal identifying information should the USPTO seek (or not seek) in order to more effectively study applicant diversity? Why?

We would appreciate any comments you have to the Request for Comment, including the specific questions (1)-(4) noted above, by January 2nd.

Please send your comments to Shayne O’Reilly at soreilly@kilpatricktownsend.com or to Debora Plehn-Dujowich at debora.plehn-dujowich@dbr.com.

Also, please let either of us know if you are interested in assisting with this project.

Thank you

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