Women make up 5.5% of commercialized patent holders. Researchers have suggested that encouraging women to take jobs in mechanical or electrical engineering could help increase this percentage, because there is a significant amount of patenting in these fields. Despite the low percentage of female patent holders, the number of women filing US patents increased by 35% from 2009 to 2010.
More about patents:
- The first woman to be issued a US patent was Mary Dixon Kies, in 1809. She developed a process that could be used to weave straw.
- A commercialized patent is a patent that is used to develop a product or process that can be marketed and sold. An undeveloped patent exists on paper but is not used to develop a marketable process or product.
- The first black woman to receive a US patent was Judy W. Reed in 1884. Reed's invention was a device that kneaded and rolled dough.