Blog Post: The National Strategy for Inclusive Innovation - A Framework for IP Social Justice

The National Strategy for Inclusive Innovation: A Framework for IP Social Justice

On May 1, 2024, the United States Patent and Trademark Office announced the adoption of the National Strategy for Inclusive Innovation (NSII). The NSII was developed by the USPTO with support from the Council for Inclusive Innovation (CI2), and “is based on a vision for United States leadership in innovation that will lift communities, grow the economy, create quality jobs, and address global challenges.” The USPTO intends to accomplish the vision set forth in the NSII by increasing participation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and innovation, both generally and through related entrepreneurship, and thereby “unleash every American’s ability to fully take part in the innovation economy.”

The NSII embodies a bold initiative through which to pursue the mandate of the Unleashing American Innovators Act, signed into law by President Biden on December 29, 2022, and to achieve the social justice obligations and effects integral to an effective intellectual property ecosystem. While promoting IP endeavor has been at the forefront of American advances in science and technology since our nation’s inception, as noted in the NSII, leading research reveals that participation in the American innovation ecosystem is “exceptionally unequal”. A recent report by the USPTO indicates that only 12.8% of all inventors named on U.S. patents are women, while a Harvard study revealed that White Americans are three times more likely to become inventors than Black Americans, and that the children of the top 1% of income earners are 10 times more likely to become inventors than children with family incomes below the median.

The NSII represents a targeted, comprehensive strategy for ensuring that all Americans enjoy meaningful opportunities for access to, inclusion in, and empowerment through the IP and innovation ecosystem. The NSII is structured around four “cornerstone” goals, each addressing “a critical inflection point in the lives of potential innovators”: (i) Inspiring New Generations of Innovators; (ii) Educating and Empowering Innovators; (iii) Advancing Inclusive Innovation; and (iv) Bringing Innovation to Market. Based upon these cornerstone goals, the NSII includes a range of specific policy recommendations, from enhancing efforts to standardize and scale youth innovation education to expanding initiatives through which to leverage and increase commercialization support and tech transfer to benefit all American communities.

Through the NSII, the USPTO takes a leadership role in meeting the great challenge of confronting the demographic, economic, and geographic under-representation of citizens in the innovation economy. Every American must enjoy the opportunity and the privilege to contribute to the innovation storehouse, and to achieve this the NSII seeks to address every underserved cohort, including rural regions, veterans, elder communities, persons with disabilities, those who have educated themselves in non-elite or non-traditional settings, including trade schools, community colleges, or work experiences, as well as those who are under-resourced. To cultivate our nation’s full potential, “the United States must make sustained investments in its most important asset—the American people—by ensuring that every individual—irrespective…of ethnicity, gender, disability, or location—has access to the resources and opportunities to innovate.”

IIPSJ commends the National Strategy for Inclusive Innovation and its social justice-oriented perspective towards the American innovation ecosystem. We hope you will review the full report at