The National Academy of Inventors Announce Joint Partnership Agreement with the United States Patent and Trademark Office

WASHINGTON, March 1, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The National Academy of Inventors (NAI) today announced a Joint Project Agreement (JPA) with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in a mutual effort to broaden diversity, equity, inclusion, and access in the invention and innovation ecosystems.

With this five-year agreement, both parties are seeking to expand access of NAI and USPTO resources to historically under-served communities, which include minorities, women, veterans, and individuals with disabilities.

"The Joint Project Agreement is vital to our mission of expanding access to the innovation ecosystem," said Drew Hirshfeld, currently performing the functions and duties of the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO. "The NAI community of academic inventors and institutions offers a unique network dedicated to innovation and IP education and we look forward to partnering with them to broaden access and inclusion."

The agreement targets two key programs within the NAI suite of online tools: its mentoring platform, Global Academic Inventors Network (GAIN) and IP certification course. In addition to adding more features to both resources, NAI will now offer public access, as these were previously reserved for NAI Members only.  

"We are honored to deepen our existing partnership with the USPTO, as the JPA goal ties directly in with our efforts to promote diversity and inclusion," said Paul R. Sanberg, FNAI and NAI President. "By opening access of our resources, to the public, we are essentially opening new doors to careers in discovery for young inventors globally."

An additional key component of the JPA includes a market analysis to evaluate the language used in the education modules and mentoring platform to ensure it is inclusive and will be effective at reaching under-resourced audiences.

The USPTO and NAI have shared a close relationship since the founding of NAI in 2010. They have collaborated previously including the USPTO’s contributions to NAI’s Technology & Innovation journal as well as USPTO leadership’s participation in the NAI Fellow and Senior Member induction ceremonies. The next NAI Annual Meeting will be held on June 14-15, in Phoenix, Arizona.

About the National Academy of Inventors

The National Academy of Inventors is a member organization comprising U.S. and international universities, and governmental and non-profit research institutes, with over 4,000 individual inventor members and Fellows spanning more than 250 institutions worldwide. It was founded in 2010 to recognize and encourage inventors with patents issued from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), enhance the visibility of academic technology and innovation, encourage the disclosure of intellectual property, educate and mentor innovative students, and translate the inventions of its members to benefit society. The NAI works in partnership with the USPTO and publishes the multidisciplinary journal, Technology and Innovation. Learn more at

Media Contact: 
Jody Santoro
Communication Officer
National Academy of Inventors

SOURCE National Academy of Inventors