Marginalized Inventors and Trouble at the Patent Office

Join Northeastern Law’s Center for Law, Information and Creativity (CLIC) for a lunchtime presentation.

Jordana Goodman
Assistant professor, Chicago-Kent College of Law


Lunch will be served.

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Though the patent prosecution process may be perceived as culturally blind, it is constructed from an almost exclusively majoritarian viewpoint. As a result, inventors leveraging marginalized cultural capital to invent may be held to a different standard than those leveraging majority cultural capital. Structural and procedural aspects of the US patent prosecution system — including subject matter classification processes, unequal enablement evaluations and inequitable prior art searches — can deny equity to non-white, non-Christian and non-native-born US inventors who leverage their lived experiences to invent. 

This discussion highlights the inequities inventors from marginalized backgrounds may face in the patent prosecution process for inventions related to their culture, draws attention to the greater inequitable messaging of the patent system and proposes structural solutions at the USPTO to remedy these concerns. 


Jordana Goodman joined Chicago-Kent College of Law as an assistant professor in 2023. Goodman is an expert on gender and race equity issues in STEM fields. She also works as an innovator in residence at MIT, studying issues surrounding diversity, equity and inclusion in intellectual property law by leveraging her background as a patent prosecutor. 


Feb 29, 2024

1:00 pm to 2:30 pm