Women in IP: A Look Into Diversity & Inventorship


On February 6th, Osha Liang Partner Carlyn Burton joined fellow panelists, Katherine Franco (partner at Blank Rome), Lydia Evans (owner of SW&G Essentials),  and moderator, Hope Shimabuku (Regional Director of Texas Regional USPTO) for a presentation on, “Women in IP Law: A Look into Diversity & Inventorship.” This was just one session of a 3-day event (33rd Annual Course: Advanced Intellectual Property Law) hosted by the State Bar of Texas in downtown Houston. 

Native Houstonian Lydia Evans recounted her personal journey from fledgling entrepreneur to savvy business owner. Hearing this inventor’s experiences firsthand was fascinating.  From appearing on hit TV show ‘Shark Tank’ to securing her first patent and trademark, the insights shared made for some very interesting discussion. Moderator Hope Shimabuku broached topics like, “At what point did you (the inventor) decide you needed a patent?”, “What were some of the main obstacles in obtaining a patent?”, “What were deciding factors on selecting legal representation?”

Rounding out the conversation, we heard from local patent attorneys Carlyn Burton and Katherine Franco who shared statistics on women in IP, identifying the root causes of gender parity in innovation, and finally how to achieve increased awareness and support.

Judging by the interest this presentation was met with – this event was a step in the right direction.