The Women's IP World Annual 2019/2020


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.

Ms. Elvin Hassan

Editor & Head of International liaisons

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


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


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,


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


The Importance of

Women in


Bobbie Carlton, Founder, Innovation Women

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


– 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.



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