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The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) sought input for its National Strategy for Expanding American Innovation to build a more demographically, geographically, and economically inclusive innovation ecosystem. Students in Professor Colleen Chien’s Patent Law course submitted 13 comments on how to make innovation more representative of the United States. This document contains 13 comments that draw heavily from personal and professional experience, and highlights the diversity in Santa Clara Law’s patent course. Here are excerpts:

  • Erik Perez and Grant Wanderscheid, drawing from their own undergraduate and graduate experiences in science and engineering, recommend a “shift towards achievement through failure” to support creativity and novel idea generation at educational institutions.
  • Ernest “Ernie” Fok highlights how a “marginalized and underrepresented queer scientist community[] invariably reduces inventorship diversity in the United States” and suggests ways the “USPTO can help overcome cis-heteronormativity in STEM and drive queer involvement in innovation.”
  • Sajeev Sidher, a partner at a major accounting firm, recommends adopting tax credits targeted at small minority and women-owned businesses that develop patented technologies because “a patent as a property right can be the vehicle to generate wealth and secure social and financial upward mobility for the inventor … over successive generations.”
  • A female patent agent with thirteen years of experience at global law firms and a Fortune 500 life science company recommends carrying out a study of all-female inventions, stating: “I personally did not have a single occasion where women-only clients, either solo or in group, came and sought patent protection.”


Editors: Professor Colleen Chien and Ernest Fok (3L)

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