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Congress Tells Patent Office To Consider Race Of Applicants

Yesterday we celebrated Martin Luther King Day, whose dream was a nation where people are “not judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

No one told Congress or the Patent Office.

Congress just passed a law that directs the USPTO to determine whether opening more offices is “necessary” to grant more patents to “underrepresented groups.”

If you think we are joking, then you’re not familiar with the “Unleashing American Innovators Act of 2022,” which was stuffed, or should we say sneaked, into the 4,000-page Omnibusted spending bill back in December.

This act instructs the Director of the US Patent and Trademark Office to help “underrepresented groups (e.g., women, people of color, veterans, individual inventors, members of any other demographic, geographic, rural populations, or other economic group underrepresented in patent filings) “increase participation in the patent system.”

We’re all for encouraging innovation and invention, but we’re not clear how an applicants’ skin color, sexual preferences, or geographic location has anything to do with the soundness and uniqueness of their invention.

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