Brunei exceeds the global average for patents listed with female inventors, according to recent statistics.

The vast majority of patent applications filed with the Brunei Intellectual Property Office (BruIPO) are from Universiti Brunei Darussalam, which show that 41 percent of the varsity’s applications list at least one woman inventor.

From a total of 48 patent applications from UBD, 20 included female inventors.

Globally, women were listed in 31 percent of the some 224,000 international patent applications in 2017, according to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). That compares to just 23 percent a decade earlier, the UN agency said.

Brunei also leads APEC economies for female graduates in science, technology, engineering and math disciplines, where almost half of graduates are women.

On World Intellectual Property Day last week (April 26), the UN hailed the significant increase in women inventors in global patent filings over the past decade, but warned a pronounced gender gap remained.

WIPO chief Francis Gurry celebrated in a statement “the innovative, creative accomplishments of women around the globe.”

He pointed out that “international patent applications are an important benchmark for measuring innovative activity in the contemporary, global economy,” stressing that “anything less than the achievement of full parity between men and women is a missed opportunity.”

The Attorney General Datin Hjh Hayati (C) and head of BruIPO Sharinah Yusof Khan (L) and LegCo member YB Rozaimeriyanty (R) speak during a panel on women in innovation to coincide with World Intellectual Property Day on April 26, 2018. Photo: Courtesy of BruIPO

The agency’s data showed that South Korea was best in class on gender, with at least one woman listed among inventors in more than 50 percent of all international patent applications.

China, the world’s second largest filer of international patents, also came in second when it came to including women inventors in its filings, at 48 percent.

The world leader in international patent applications, the United States, meanwhile only listed women among the inventors in 33 percent of its filings, placing it fifth, WIPO said.

International patent applications in the fields of biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and chemistry showed the highest inclusion of women, with female inventors listed in a majority of patents in these disciplines.

Biotech topped the ranking, counting women inventors in 58 percent of all filings, while patents related to mechanical elements was at the bottom of the list, with just 14 percent.

— With reporting from AFP