Academic journal article Economics & Sociology

Gender in the Creation of Intellectual Property of the Selected European Union Countries

Academic journal article Economics & Sociology

Gender in the Creation of Intellectual Property of the Selected European Union Countries

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT. The growing importance of gender studies in many disciplines is recently presented in the literature. However, there is no research on gender as the extraordinary source of innovation development. Specifically, patent activity is among the important elements determining the involvement of men and women in the innovation process. The article presents the results of studies focused on the patent inventors' role, both women and men, in development activities of entities belonging to the business enterprise sector. The research objectives were: 1) to capture the statistical picture of inventive activity taking gender into account, and 2) to identify the directions and dynamics of change with regard to the proportion of inventors in the EU member states. The main results shows the increasing role of women rather than man as the inventors of patents in the business enterprise sector of the leading EU countries in a long term.

Keywords: intellectual property, comparative studies of countries, patent, Innovative Gender.

JEL Classification : O34, O39, O57

(ProQuest: ... denotes formulae omitted.)

Introduction

Will Europe 2020, and, in particular, the Innovation Union, which provides yet another opportunity for obtaining enormous financial and institutional support, unleash EU innovations? A comprehensive search for additional sources of the creative base supporting innovation development is becoming the necessary challenge in the conditions whose assessment varies, depending on social actors. This kind of approach brings forward gender equality. Recruiting and retaining women in scientific and technical fields is seen as a key to success for the 2020 Strategy. "Equal participation of men and women is essential for Europe to exploit the full potential of innovative strengths - not only for demographic reasons, but also in the case of innovation processes and results. There is a need to clarify what (new) cluster policy related measures can support the process to get more women involved in the innovation process of business and research" (SIT, 2011).

It needs to be considered that all economic and social activities take place within an institutional framework. The economy, like society, represents a complex of institutions, ranging from the very smallest, such as family, to the largest and most comprehensive, namely the state (Chavance, 2009). Institutional economics was chosen as a frame for research, since it offers a broad perspective, which allows to bring forward gender while analysing economic relations. Gender, on the other hand, is a fundamental organizing principle of institutions (Jacobsen, 2007), therefore it has to be taken into account while researching economic questions. In this context, introducing the role of gender into the innovation process, especially in its initial part determined by the intellectual input of individuals (intellectual property) of different gender seems an obvious and necessary issue to be studied. In this article, intellectual property included in patents was considered the determinant of this input and the number of men and women who participate in its generation was analysed and evaluated.

A number of studies and reports have stressed the acute problem of women's underrepresentation in science in the business enterprise sector (OECD, 2012; Hunt et al., 2013). Whilst women represent over 35% of all researchers in the higher education and government sectors of most European countries, this is not the case for the corporate sector. The percentage of female researchers in the business enterprise sector is less than 25% in most countries (European Commission, 2010). Yet another flagship initiative under the 2020 Strategy, the New Skills and Jobs Agenda, focuses on the need to modernise labour markets, increase labour participation and match labour markets and skills. Studies show that the European labour shortage is likely to have a greater impact on female or male dominated occupations rather than on less divided sectors (European Commission, 2009). …

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