The Diversity Pledge

Innovators of all types have shaped many aspects of the world throughout the centuries. However, findings by WIPO and leading researchers show some groups remain severely under-represented in many areas of intellectual property use. All of the data suggests that the world has missed out on millions of inventors.

Maintaining a technical and innovative edge is vital for success in the marketplace and for global economic and technological success. For individual companies, more innovation can lead to increased market share, customer acquisition, employee retention, and more. Increasing Diversity in Innovation is the first step in reaching these goals, and the time for action is now.

Please join us by signing this Diversity Pledge and committing to the following:

Year 1

  1. Identify one or more groups of URIs to address, and secure the best available data for each selected URI group (see “Calculation of Metrics” below).
  2. Use best efforts to implement and complete at least one of the six Best Practices below for each URI group you have chosen to address.
  3. Report the following information to the Neutral 3rd Party*:
    1. the URI group(s) you have chosen to address and; 
    2. the best practice(s) you began and completed in years 2021, 2022 and 2023 (as per the Completion Criteria below).

Year 3

  1. By March 2024, use best efforts to provide the following two metrics to the Neutral 3rd Party* for the period FY 2021-2023 (see “Calculation of Metrics” below):
    1. Inventorship Rate for a specific URI group = # of Unique Underrepresented Inventors on Patent Applications) ÷ (Total # of Unique Inventors on Patent Applications)
    2. Fractional Inventorship Rate for a specific URI group (e.g., average percentage of URIs per patent application in each calendar year) = Sum of % of URIs per Patent Application) ÷ (Total # of Patent Applications)

Calculation of Metrics

You can calculate the above metrics using your own internal data (for your organization’s patent inventors and selected URI group) OR publicly available tools. For example, there are several free tools that can be used to assign gender to inventor names, including the methodology used by the US Patent Office.

Frequently asked questions 

  • The Neutral 3rd Party is Richardson Oliver Insights LLC.

The Diversity Pledge was designed to facilitate collaboration among corporations who collectively represent the largest filers of patents. Founding pledgees include over 25 companies spanning a variety of industries including consumer products, telecommunications, social media, software, finance and biologics among others.  We hope many more companies join the founding pledgees to make actionable and measurable change in increasing diversity in innovation with their current employee base.  


Suzanne Harrison
USIPA, Diversity & Inclusion

Bowman Heiden
UC Berkeley Fung Institute

Karla Soler Riba
Center for Intellectual Property (CIP)