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Increasing Diversity in IP with the Girl Scout IP Patch

About the Girl Scout IP Patch

Women are severely underrepresented among American innovation, with only 21% of U.S. patents including at least one female inventor as recently as 2016. While some of the gender gap is attributable to the fact that fewer women participate in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields, studies show that there are other factors contributing to the gender gap among inventors. To solve this problem, there continues to be a need to increase the participation of women in STEM fields, and more particularly, to understand how to access and use the patent system to their benefit.




Girl Scout IP Patch

A USPTO and IPO Education Foundation collaboration to teach girls about invention and IP.

One effort to increase participation of women in STEM fields is the Girl Scout’s IP Patch, which was developed through a collaboration between the Intellectual Property Owners Education Foundation (IPOEF), the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and the Girl Scouts of Nation’s Capital Council to familiarize girls with invention and intellectual property and encourage them to enter STEM careers. In late 2017, it became available to Girl Scouts nationwide at four different levels: Brownie, Junior, Cadette, and Senior. 
The Girl Scout IP Patch is a natural synergy for GIPA’s efforts to increase education and awareness of invention and intellectual property, especially since Georgia is the home of Girl Scout Founder Juliette Gordon Low’s birthplace. GIPA programs provide hands-on experiences of how to think like an inventor and exposure to career options surrounding invention and intellectual property. Irina Fays, Client Engagement at Clarivate Analytics and GIPA Executive Board Member, leads GIPA efforts in collaboration with the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta and other Georgia troops to provide opportunities for girls to earn their IP Patches.
Highlights of Past Events

On October 26, 2019, GIPA hosted the “Science of Makeup” Experience at the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta Super STEM Expo at the Delta Flight Museum. The event was curated by Irina Fays and provided girls with the opportunity to meet a female inventor and patent attorney, see actual published patents about makeup inventions and compare it to the products they protected, learn about experimentation in the making of lipstick, and learn about innovations made in the industry with a focus on clean products. An estimated 400 girls participated in the workshop, supported by 16 volunteers.

On January 25, 2020, and February 1, 2020, GIPA partnered with the Atlanta Chapters of ChIPs and SWE to hold a Girl Scout Derby Car Design and Girl Scout Powder Puff Derby events where girls learned about the innovation of the automotive vehicle. Girls then had an opportunity to design, build, and brand their own car. Over 70 girls from grades K-6 participated.