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AIPLA President’s blog: Promoting diversity in IP

Jeffrey I. D. Lewis

A few weeks ago the New York Times Science section included a front-page article entitled "Federal Initiative Aims to Raise Number of Minority Scientists."

The article discusses the rigorous analysis being applied to study and remedy a shortage of minority scientists reflected in the low rate of minorities receiving NIH grants in certain fields. The article does not consider the effect on the number of science-trained attorneys, but there is a direct relationship.

AIPLA identified this issue long ago. That is why AIPLA, in cooperation with other like-minded organizations, founded the American Intellectual Property Education Foundation in 2001. AIPLEF, as the foundation is known, promotes diversity in intellectual property law by providing educational, mentoring, scholarship and employment opportunities to minority law students, including for students interested in patent law where science knowledge can be necessary. The foundation has granted more than $1 million in scholarships to promote diversity and excellence in legal education.

AIPLA continues to further the goal of promoting science education, both by helping AIPLEF support law students and by promoting a number of educational initiatives such as our "Creativity in Bloom" website for youth education, all the while keeping in mind the needs of those groups that have historically been under-represented. So while we commend NIH for the steps it has taken to make sure that all groups are properly represented when grants are awarded, there's more we can do as individuals by supporting organizations such as AIPLEF.

Thanks for reading,




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