LEGAL/POLICY

USPTO Launches National Council For Expanding American Innovation

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By Godson Umejiego, Correspondent USA

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has  launched a major initiative aimed at expanding invention, innovation, and entrepreneurship in the United States.

The new National Council for Expanding American Innovation (NCEAI), comprised of representatives from industry, academia, and government, will help guide the USPTO in developing a comprehensive national strategy to build a more diverse and inclusive innovation ecosystem by encouraging participation demographically, geographically, and economically.

“It is critical that industry, academia, and government work together to strengthen our culture of innovation by encouraging the participation of young people from diverse backgrounds,” said US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “Through the National Council for Expanding American Innovation, we plan to develop a national strategy for promoting and increasing the participation of underrepresented groups as inventor-patentees, entrepreneurs, and innovation leaders.”

Secretary Ross will serve as the Chairman of the NCEAI and is joined in his efforts by Vice-Chair Andrei Iancu, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO.

“America’s economic prosperity and technological leadership depend on a strong and inclusive innovation ecosystem,” said Iancu. “That is why it is so important for us to encourage participation in the patent system so that all Americans are inspired to invent, to protect their inventions, to build thriving businesses, and to succeed.”

The NCEAI was born out of a recommendation in the USPTO’s 2018 SUCCESS Act study and congressional report transmitted to Congress in December 2019. The study assessed the participation of women, minorities, and veterans as inventors named on US granted patents. The report provided recommendations to increase those groups’ participation in innovation. One was to create a council to promote inclusiveness in innovation and increase the development and participation of underrepresented groups as inventors and entrepreneurs.

NCEAI is comprised of leaders in corporate, academic, non-profit, professional, and government organizations. Together they have joined in the effort to encourage and support all future American innovators.

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