Increasing Inventor Diversity

Economic power is often dependent upon intellectual property. IIPSJ seeks to empower minority and marginalized communities as inventors to compete for and attain a stake in the 21st century economy.

Recent Developments

Empowering Inventors

We must empower minority communities to not only invent and create, but also to take full ownership and control of the use of their intellectual property so that it can be used both for societal good as well as for economic empowerment for themselves and their communities.  IIPSJ both participates in and encourages a continuing dialogue on ways to accomplish this goal.  Below you can find some of those conversations; including videos from CLE presentations, blog posts, comments submitted to the USPTO and before the Senate.  We encourage you to review the resources to learn more and join us to spread the word on this important topic.


An intellectual property system designed to guarantee socially equitable access to its apparatus and to its benefits irrespective of wealth, class, race, ethnicity, or geographic situs, ensures that the widest possible network of minds and hearts will find the inspiration to conceive, invent, express, share, and experience intellectual accomplishment.” – Professor Lateef Mtima, IIPSJ Director

Lateef Mtima speaks before the Senate Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, April 2021.

Articles, Blog Posts, Videos & More

IIPSJ Videos
IP for the People – Patent Law for Engineers

Virtual Intellectual Property Education Series

IIPSJ Advocacy

Improving Access and Inclusivity in the Patent System: Unleashing America’s Economic Engine

Responses to Specific Questions for the Record Submitted to the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property
Lateef Mtima
Howard University School of Law
(Submitted September 12, 2022)

IIPSJ Blog Post
Importance of Diversity and Innovation

Why increasing diversity in STEAM fields will further solidify the United States as a global leader.

CLE Panel – Increasing Inventor Diversity

Watch panelists from our 2021 CLE program discuss ways in which we can increase minority inventorship.

IIPSJ Post with Article Links
IP and Innovation: What’s Race Got To Do With It?

Spotlight on four articles that provide compelling insight on the question of the relevance of race to IP law and innovation policy.

Senate Testimony Video

Improving Access & Inclusivity in the Patent System: Unleashing America’s Economic Engine
Watch Professor Lateef Mtima and others provide testimony before the Senate Subcommittee on Intellectual Property.

“As we explore ways to build this [IP] ecosystem, we must acknowledge why this is important to the country as a whole and specifically in minority communities, identify current barriers to equal access and opportunities, and provide solutions for breaking down those barriers.” – Tashia Bunch, IIPSJ Administrative Director

IIPSJ Blog Post
IDEA Act of 2021

Details about the reintroduction of the Inventor Diversity for Economic Advancement Act.


First Black Judge on the CAFC
Learn more about the 2021 confirmation for Tiffany P. Cunningham, the first Black judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

IIPSJ Advocacy
IIPSJ Comments to the USPTO on the Future of the NCEAI

Read IIPSJ’s comments submitted to the USPTO on the next steps for the National Council for Expanding American Innovation (NCEAI).

IIPSJ Videos

Interviews with Attorneys of Color in IP
Watch interviews with successful IP attorneys of color to hear their honest perspective on diversity in the field.

CLE Panel – Patents and the Continuing Struggle for Civil Rights

Watch panelists from our 2020 CLE program discuss the historical struggle surrounding patent ownership for African-Americans and current advancements.

IIPSJ Blog Post

The SUCCESS Act: Where We Stand & The Path Forward
Outline of the goals and findings of Congress’ SUCCESS Act and a discussion of the lack of diverse inventors.

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