Emma Graham, partner and European patent attorney at IP specialist law firm Mewburn Ellis, says: “The under-representation of women holding patents is not due to IP law itself. It is due to the lack of women doing the ‘inventing’. Women are under-represented in science and engineering, and particularly in roles focused on the inventing process, such as design engineering or product development. It’s predominantly individuals in these roles who become patent holders.” However, interestingly, women are participating actively in IP law, says Dr Graham. According to the Intellectual Property Regulation Board, the proportion of female IP attorneys (28.5 per cent) is markedly higher than that of female patent holders.