Improving Diversity In The Patent Community — KISSPatent
At KISSPatent and KISSPlatform, we strongly believe in innovation. But, we also know that innovation can’t truly happen without diversity because diversity brings people together with different experiences and perspectives to create a marketplace of unique ideas. True innovation is about making this world a better place, not just for some but for everyone and that can’t happen without diverse innovators.
We value and embrace diversity at KISSPatent but we want to do more, that’s why we’re announcing our diversity initiative today: supporting law students from underrepresented backgrounds who want to become patent attorneys.
A report from the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) in 2017 showed that fewer than two percent of all IP (intellectual property) attorneys were African-American and 2.5 percent were Latinx, while 30 percent were women. We need a more diverse community!
We’re starting this initiative by speaking with African-American law student organizations at a number of different schools to help support their soon-to-be patent attorney members. Our main goal is to mentor these members and to provide opportunities to gain practical experiences by working on patent projects with us. We’ll be providing a practical view on what really happens in a patent law practice — going from legal theory to patent reality! Some of the concrete steps that we’ll take to provide this view are given below.
Although this initiative is still evolving, we hope it will lead to an increased number of African-American patent attorneys as well as patent attorneys from other underrepresented groups.
This is important to us because these patent attorneys will support all innovators — and especially innovators in underrepresented groups. This will lead to more diverse teams, and partnerships, making true innovation happen!
Furthermore, we are recruiting new patent practitioners in the next 6 months and following, so this initiative will give law students and our firm a good chance to get to know each other.
What we provide
We’ll provide the following for the students as part of our initiative:
- We’ll give them practical information and education on patent practice during our mentorships
- The mentorship will culminate in a short paid project
- We’ll provide a letter of recommendation for their future work
Who can participate
Our program is open to students who belong to African-American law student associations (ie. Black Law Student Association (BLSA)).
Who’s behind this initiative
This initiative will be spearheaded by Xavier Hailey, who is our Head of Patents and Trademarks. He is a USPTO Registered Patent Attorney and is admitted to the State Bars of New York, New Jersey, and Illinois. He graduated from DePaul University College of Law in 2010 and was on the 2008–2009 executive board of DePaul’s Black Law Student Association.
Xavier will be supported by our entire team, who is excited to work on this important initiative!
How to apply
Write to us at email@example.com with the subject “Diversity in the patent community initiative.” In the mail, tell us if you’re a law student, someone representing a law student organization, or a business that wants to get involved.
We hope to be working with quite a few students!
Although our initiative starts with mentorships, we’re open to providing support in other ways. If you have any other idea that you think would support members of your organization, also get in touch with us!