Patent Law, Copyright Law, and the Girl Germs Effect

Academic Article


  • [Excerpt] "Inventors pursue patents and authors receive copyrights. No special education is required for either endeavor, and nothing precludes a person from being both an author and an inventor. Inventors working on patentable industrial projects geared toward commercial exploitation tend to be scientists or engineers. Authors, with the exception of those writing computer code, tend to be educated or trained in the creative arts, such as visual art, performance art, music, dance, acting, creative writing, film making, and architectural drawing. There is a well-warranted societal supposition that most of the inventors of patentable inventions are male. Assumptions about the genders of the authors of remunerative commercially exploited copyrights may be less rigid. Women authors are more broadly visible than women inventors across most of the typical categories of copyrightable works. Yet, whether one considers patentable inventions or copyrightable works, the vast majority of the very profitable ones are both originated and controlled by men. This causes a host of negative consequences for women. They start and run businesses at much lower rates than men and rarely reach elite leadership levels in the corporate world or within high-profile artistic or cultural communities. They are perceived as less competent, less dedicated, and less hard working, and suffer from a lack of female mentors and female colleagues. Women are lied to during financial negotiations more than men and earn less than men in equivalent positions. Women control only a tiny portion of the world’s wealth. Though female students outperform male students in almost every context and at almost every level of education, and even seek postdegree job-related training in greater numbers than men, this has not helped women to produce and control patentable inventions or to author and own valuable copyrighted works in numbers comparable to men."
  • Authors


    Publication Date

  • 2016
  • Published In


  • STEM
  • bias
  • discrimination
  • education
  • engineers
  • inventors
  • Start Page

  • 579
  • End Page

  • 608
  • Volume

  • 90