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Feb 8 -- USPTO extends the deadline for comments to February 23, 2021. https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/02/08/2021-02571/extension-of-the-period-for-comments-on-the-national-strategy-for-expanding-american-innovation
Dec 23 -- On September 14, 2020, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) hosted the inaugural meeting of the National Council for Expanding American Innovation (NCEAI). The NCEAI consists of distinguished leaders from industry, academia, government, and nonprofit organizations. It was organized as an outgrowth of the Study of Underrepresented Classes Chasing Engineering and Science Success Act of 2018, which charged the USPTO with preparing a report concerning patenting and entrepreneurship activities among women, minorities, and veterans. The goal of the NCEAI is to help the USPTO develop a national strategy to build a more demographically, geographically, and economically inclusive innovation ecosystem. To assist in the development of this strategy, the USPTO is seeking input from the public. To be ensured of consideration, written comments must be received by February 8, 2021.
To maintain the United States' economic competitiveness on the world stage, it is imperative for our nation to encourage individuals from all backgrounds and areas of the country to participate in the innovation ecosystem, particularly in obtaining intellectual property rights. However, research reveals patterns of disparity in innovation participation rates for women, people of color, veterans, economically disadvantaged people, and geographically underrepresented people. This disparity negatively affects the development of local communities as well as the social and economic well-being of the country at large. To increase participation in innovation by individuals from traditionally underrepresented groups, it is critically important to equip all inventors and prospective inventors, regardless of their demographic, geographic, or economic backgrounds, with information, resources, supportive communities, and opportunities. Our economy will benefit from a wealth of previously untapped talent when we, as a nation, successfully build an innovation community that more closely reflects the underlying diversity of our citizens.

In its SUCCESS Act report to Congress, the USPTO announced its plan to create a national strategy to promote and increase participation by underrepresented groups in inventing and innovation. The NCEAI consists of leaders from every corner of the innovation ecosystem—industry, academia, government, and nonprofit organizations. NCEAI representatives will provide input to help the USPTO develop its national strategy to expand innovation demographically, geographically, and economically. This strategy will be organized by a broad conceptual framework that considers the entire pathway along which interest and expertise in innovation is cultivated in an individual. One element of this framework will focus on “Creating Innovators,” which will address expanding access to foundational exposure and educational opportunities for students and individuals of all ages and backgrounds. Another element will focus on “Practicing Innovation,” which will address the empowerment of all innovative individuals by providing adequate resources and supportive work environments to turn their ideas into protectable inventions. A third element will focus on “Realizing Innovation,” which will address the assurance that all innovators can successfully commercialize their products and services.

Issues for Comment: The USPTO seeks comments from the public that will be used to help draft a national strategy to create opportunities that will expand our innovation ecosystem to include all individuals, including those from underrepresented socioeconomic, geographic, and demographic groups. Seventeen questions are grouped according to the categories within the broad conceptual framework outlined above for the national strategy. The USPTO welcomes answers to these questions, as well as any additional comments, from the public.
FR notice listing questions and inviting comment: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/12/23/2020-28298/request-for-comments-on-the-national-strategy-for-expanding-american-innovation   
NCEAI webpage: https://www.uspto.gov/initiatives/expanding-innovation/national-council-expanding-american-innovation   
Study of Underrepresented Classes Chasing Engineering and Science Success (SUCCESS) Act of 2018 https://www.uspto.gov/ip-policy/legislative-resources/successact

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