26 September 2023

IP shares Women’s Day going backwards

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IP Australia marked International Women’s Day during the week (8 March) to reflect on the contributions woman made on the examination of patents.

“Did you know…?” IP Australia asked, that two of IP Australia’s first ever female patent examiners – Helen Taylor and Anita Walters – were among the very first women to work in the IP field.

“Helen Taylor started working as a temporary examiner of patents in November 1950,” IP Australia said.

“After that she went on to become a patent attorney… and in the 1970s went on to work in Britain.

It said Anita Walters became the first female supervising examiner in the early 1970s before she retired in the mid-1970s.

IP Australia also recalls the active of cosmetic leader Helena Rubinstein who registered the first publicly listed global cosmetics corporation and filing a trade mark with the newly formed National Patent Office in January 1907.

“Helena may not be the first woman to file a trade mark, but owning registration number 3544 put her right toward the top of what would have been a very short list of women owners 115 years ago,” IP Austraia said.

It also paid respect to Australian scientist Elizabeth Blackburn who changed the world as we know it when she and her co-scientist, Carol Greider, discovered the telomerase in 1984.

“It is the protective cap at the ends of eukaryotic chromosomes that prevent it from damage—this discovery has significantly impacted cancer and aging research.”

The Agency also reflected on Sally Dominguez who invented her most well-known innovation the ‘Rainwater Hog’, a tank which could be used in either horizontal or vertical orientation.

Previously, rainwater collection and storage systems were quite large and expensive, but Dominguez’s modular design allowed for a far more accessible and customisable solution for homes, businesses, and schools.

“From industry pioneers to life saving inventions, women have been changing the face of Australian innovation for over a century,” IP Australia said.

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