Women are underrepresented in patenting and the gap is not closing quickly. One major roadblock is the dearth of causal evidence on the potential effectiveness of interventional policies to address the gender patenting gap. Using a randomized control trial (RCT) at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), we identify the heterogeneous causal impacts across gender and technologies of increased patent examination assistance on the probability of obtaining patent rights. Women applicants were about 11 percentage points more likely than men to benefit from this assistance, and the benefits were largest for U.S. inventors, new U.S. inventors, and in technology areas where women had the worst relative outcomes. Our results suggest that a portion of the gender patenting gap could be eliminated through the provision of additional resources and assistance during patent prosecution.
Authors of the paper: Nicholas Pairolero, Andrew Toole, Peter-Anthony Pappas, Charles deGrazia, Mike Teodorescu
Contact person: Svenja Friess