Patent Law and Women : Tackling Gender Bias in Knowledge Governance book cover
1st Edition

Patent Law and Women
Tackling Gender Bias in Knowledge Governance

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after September 30, 2021
ISBN 9780367652272
September 30, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
216 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Patenting is gendered. This book explores why this is, including an analysis of the gendered nature of patent law itself. It argues that the "women in STEM" rhetoric is a distraction from the fact that gendered concepts underlie patent law and the knowledge governance system it creates. The book discusses different ways of viewing knowledge and offer an alternative means of governing knowledge.

The world-over, the vast majority of patented inventions are attributed to male inventors. This has resulted in discourses around "women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)". Namely that there are not enough women in STEM and that females are inherently (biologically) pre-disposed away from STEM. This book highlights that these discourses are misguided and dangerous. It shows that the reason why fewer females patent than men is that patent law and the knowledge governance system it creates are gendered. The law protects the masculine at the sacrifice of the feminine. Those in power protect those most like themselves and thereby retain their power.

This re-framing is important as it allows us to stop telling women, whether consciously or unconsciously, that they are the problem if they cannot succeed in patenting and commercialisation. When, in reality, the Western knowledge governance system sets women up to fail. Furthermore, giving shape and form to a power dynamic allows us to deconstruct it, which we have to do as there are harms of the status quo. Patents are a primary tool used in Western jurisdictions to promote innovation and they can have negative wealth distributing effects through creating "haves" and "have nots". Thus, this book examines alternative ways of thinking about and regulating knowledge.

This book is for anyone who is interested in gender bias in knowledge generation, protection and commercialisation. This includes those concerned with patent law, scholars of law and feminism and law and sociology, as well as policymakers in knowledge governance, innovation and women’s affairs



Table of Contents

Introduction 1. Gendered Patenting 2. Patent Law’s Gendered Binaries 3. The Gendered Contexts of Invention and Innovation 4. The Gendered Consequences 5. Deconstructing the Lore: False Universalisms 6. Reconstructing the Law: Towards a Singularity Concluding Thoughts

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Jessica Lai, Associate Professor of Commercial Law, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand