[Excerpt] "Inventors pursue patents and authors receive copyrights.

No special education is required for either endeavor, and nothing

precludes a person from being both an author and an inventor.

Inventors working on patentable industrial projects geared

toward commercial exploitation tend to be scientists or engineers.

Authors, with the exception of those writing computer code, tend

to be educated or trained in the creative arts, such as visual art,

performance art, music, dance, acting, creative writing, film

making, and architectural drawing. There is a well-warranted

societal supposition that most of the inventors of patentable

inventions are male. Assumptions about the genders of the

authors of remunerative commercially exploited copyrights may

be less rigid. Women authors are more broadly visible than

women inventors across most of the typical categories of

copyrightable works.

Yet, whether one considers patentable inventions or

copyrightable works, the vast majority of the very profitable ones

are both originated and controlled by men. This causes a host of

negative consequences for women. They start and run

businesses at much lower rates than men and rarely reach elite

leadership levels in the corporate world or within high-profile

artistic or cultural communities. They are perceived as less

competent, less dedicated, and less hard working, and suffer from

a lack of female mentors and female colleagues. Women are lied

to during financial negotiations more than men and earn less

than men in equivalent positions. Women control only a tiny

portion of the world’s wealth. Though female students

outperform male students in almost every context and at almost every level of education, and even seek postdegree job-related

training in greater numbers than men, this has not helped

women to produce and control patentable inventions or to author

and own valuable copyrighted works in numbers comparable to


Publication Date

Fall 2016

Journal Title

St. John's Law Review

Document Type