We are delighted to present you with the launch edition of The Women’s IP World Annual 2019/2020, celebrating women at all levels working in IP Law and Innovation. From the very beginning, the response and feedback we had was amazing, and we would like to thank all of the incredible women involved. Our aim was to celebrate a group of diverse women, from all over the globe, showcasing their achievements and also their personalities to inspire and inform. We have taken an unbiased approach and kept the articles & profiles as authentic as possible, to keep the author's own personal style. This has resulted in a cocktail of inspirational women coming together to share thoughts, ideas, and experience positively. We hope you enjoy this issue as much as we have enjoyed putting it together.
has almost been forgotten as she is better known worldwide under her husband’s name, Curie, instead of her own! Notwithstanding all the difficulties still existing, we must reecognise that thanks to the fighting and endless efforts of many women all over the world, most countries now acknowledge women’s skills, capacities, and equal rights; it is at least partially, achieved. We can see it in any field, and the IP world is not an exception. The number of women in all the professions linked to IP has significantly grown in less than half a century, which is a period so short that several of us are witnessing the process and the actual changing in our own professional lives. Nowadays, in most jurisdictions, there are no longer rules limiting the enrollment/ election/activity of female Judges, Lawyers, Patent and Trademark Attorneys, IPO Directors, Examiners, Researchers, etc. As a consequence, also, the number of women reaching top positions in their respective fields has increased very much. It brings a more favourable ambiance from the very beginning for any woman in her career in IP. Looking back at my experiences, I am certainly not the only one of my generation who was often approached as the “secretary,” at most the assistant, of a male colleague when meeting clients or associates. We do not hear this much of younger female colleagues. It hopefully means we have progressed. Sometimes in private practice, it is more difficult to reach the highest positions than in the public sector because their rules must always be applied, and the selection and promotion process is more ‘neutral’ and objective. However, of course, many women presently are at the top of IP Firms in many jurisdictions. IP Associations often take a similar attitude to public sectors. Within AIPPI, for instance, Art.1.5 of the Statute states that the Association “shall not discriminate, especially concerning religion, race, national origin or gender.” The above is an obvious principle considering its International vocation and to implement it the Nominating Committee and the Bureau are always very careful to suggest for any election members with different geographical and professional backgrounds as well as gender diversity. The implementation of this diversity principle has allowed AIPPI (over the last few years) to substantially increase the involvement of women in all the Committees as well as, for the first time after more than a century, to have at an international level a female Reporter General, Secretary General and President. The same principles apply to the National and Regional Groups, that are the backbone of AIPPI, and the numbers of female delegates and presidents of Groups increases every year. Also, other “sister” Associations have been, and are still going, through a similar process of renovation and modernisation. It is not a completed process as yet and AIPPI, like other IP Associations, support networking, mingling and exchanging experiences and opinions among its female members. Many women are also IP owners in their own right or because of their position within Companies. Unfortunately, I am not aware of any study nor statistics on this specific area of IP. Perhaps someone knows better or would think of conducting studies? Even then the vast majority of IP owners are companies and consequently any statistic will not have a definite significance Recently we received some interesting, good news concerning inventors’ gender, from a survey conducted by WIPO among PCT applications updated to 2018. It shows that last year, 33% of all filed PCT applications mentioned at least one woman among inventors and that 17% had woman/women as inventors. These numbers are certainly not good enough but show that the trend of women being patent inventors is continuously increasing over the last monitored years (2000-2018). Women only inventors increased by 54,5% in the previous two decades, and invention with a woman among inventors increased by 65%. The other good news is that the increasing rate seems to be accelerating. It is interesting to remark that, not surprisingly, in the field of Pharma, Biotech and Biology, Food Chemistry and Organic Fine Chemistry, the majority of inventions have at least one woman among mentioned inventors. It is very appropriate in this connection to mention that in June 2019, in Vienna, EPO honoured the winners of the Inventor Award 2019. For the first time, an inventor won in two categories: Lifetime Achievement and Popular Prize and the winner was Margarita Salas Falgueras for her inventions on DNA amplification for genomics. A considerable achievement, indeed! Unfortunately, we do not have any data on creators of trademarks/logos or design, though I am quite sure that the creativity of women is very present, strong and influential in those sectors. In my personal opinion, women always have a better taste and the finest touch on aesthetical works and activities. To conclude these few lines, I wish to share with you a personal dream and hope. Despite any reasonable likelihood, I like to hope that exclusive rights granted to cooks who invented new recipes - according to the so-called Sybaris Patent, from the Greek colony in Southern Italy, dating to the VII Century BC - were occasionally granted to female cooks too. The hope is that younger women in IP, but not only, could witness a better tomorrow that – resounding Kahlil Gibran – ‘We cannot visit, not even in our dreams.’ We need to ask - are we driving important potential innovators and innovations out of business? Are we losing or delaying innovations because half the population doesn’t see the Innovation Economy as welcoming or a realistic setting for their talents? How do we entice them to stay? Consider career growth – promotions, pay equity, bonuses, and new job opportunities. Add in a dose of business growth and success. Ponder funding a startup. How about attracting investment in an existing business? Have you looked lately at board seats? C-level executives. Market leaders. Acknowledged experts. Thought leadership. Even mentions in the media and social media? Alternatively, as we have been calling them, the 6 “C’s” – Cash, Career, Customers, Credit, Credibility, and Community. These are just some of the places and opportunities where women are left behind or left out. Starting at the top: – Deloitte looked at nearly 7,000 companies in 60 countries. In 2017 women held 15 percent of all board seats globally, up from 12 percent of board seats just two years prior. The Importance of Women in Innovation Bobbie Carlton, Founder, Innovation Women www.innovationwomen.com Gender equity discussions and initiatives in recent years may feel trendy, and momentum may seem like it is on our side, but we still must face sobering statistics when it comes to women in business, women in tech and women in innovation. – According to Fortune, women held 15.7 percent of board seats at Fortune 500 companies 15 years ago. Today, women hold 25.5 percent of those seats. – The number of women running Fortune 500 companies is at a record high; there are 33 female CEOs among the Fortune 500 (with presumably one CEO per business) in 2019, up from 24 in 2018. This is just a little over 6 percent. However, female CEOs tend to leave quicker than their male counterparts, so we could see these numbers drop quicker than we’d like. Women stay for less than 4 years, where the average male CEO stays for 5 years. Some women leave these positions, or the positions that could succeed the top positions, to start their own companies. They often cite stalled careers, pay inequities, and a lack of meaningful work (a big issue for women who work or want to work on the forefront of innovation). Worst case, they point to unsafe, abusive, or just plain uncomfortable work environments. If you only look at funding, the numbers for female entrepreneurs are just as or more so dismal: – According to data from Pitchbook and All Raise, in 2018, 482 female-led U.S. companies raised $2.88 billion, or 2.2 percent of all venture money invested. The number of deals by female founders is growing, but the percentage of the overall amount remains stagnant due to the increase in so-called mega-deals. One mega-deal example, Juul ($12.8B), represented $10B more than all the female founders in the U.S. combined. So, forget startups, because high growth companies often need outside investment in order to scale. Let’s look at small businesses. – A 2016 Amex OPEN report revealed there were 11.3 million women-owned businesses in the U.S., and those businesses generated $1.6 trillion in revenues. – The same report showed that women start small businesses at a rate five times the national average, or about 1,000 new women-owned businesses every day. 06 07