Last week, the House Judiciary Committee unanimously reported the bipartisan SUCCESS Act. Co-sponsored by Representatives Adams, Chabot, Comstock, Goodlatte, Handel, Jeffries, Johnson, Nadler, Velazquez and Wagner, the bill brings together important legislative efforts long supported by BIO.
First, it directs the establishment of a joint study by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) and Small Business Administration on ways to identify best practices for increasing patenting rates for women, minorities and veterans. Secondly, the bill extends the soon-to-expire authority for the PTO to adjust the fees it relies on for funding.
Women and persons of color apply for and hold far fewer patents than white men, which is contributing to an imbalance in entrepreneurial and startup success rates and missed opportunities for American innovation and competitiveness.
To directly address this disparity, BIO’s member companies, as part of our Workforce Development, Diversity, & Inclusion (WDDI) Initiatives, have set as a goal “as an industry, [to] achieve significant increase in racial diversity, increase LGBTQ representation and achieve 50 percent representation of women at functional leader and C-Suite by 2025, (gender diversity improving from ~25 percent currently).”
We believe these goals are achievable if we all work together. BIO is hopeful that the full House will take up and pass the SUCCESS Act soon and urges the Senate to do the same.