This month, our students had the opportunity to hear from the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO, Andrei Iancu about an exciting new development with the Department of Commerce.

In collaboration with U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Director Iancu has developed the National Council for Expanding American Innovation, or NCEAI. A core tenant of this new program is to develop a strategy for promoting and increasing the participation of underrepresented groups as inventor-patentees, entrepreneurs, and innovation leaders – including women and people from underrepresented and served communities.

“It is critical that industry, academia, and government work together to strengthen our culture of innovation by encouraging the participation of young people from diverse backgrounds,” said Secretary Ross.

Director Iancu has stated that NCEAI is meant to inspire, encourage and support college students as they are the frontline and America’s future innovators. 

“America’s economic prosperity and technological leadership depend on a strong and inclusive innovation ecosystem,” Iancu said in a press release. “That is why it is so important for us to encourage participation in the patent system so that all Americans are inspired to invent, to protect their inventions, to build thriving businesses, and to succeed.”

The NCEAI was created under a recommendation in the USPTO’s 2018 SUCCESS Act study and congressional report. The study assessed the participation of women, minorities, and veterans as inventors named on U.S. granted patents. Seeing that these groups were underrepresented in patent grants, the report provided recommendations on how the USPTO could increase those groups’ participation in innovation. One of those recommendations was to create a council to promote inclusiveness in innovation and increase the development and participation of underrepresented groups as inventors and entrepreneurs.

The NCEAI held its first inaugural meeting in September, and is comprised of leaders in corporate, academic, non-profit, professional, and government organizations – all of whom are joining in the effort to encourage and support all future American innovators.

For more information about NCEAI, please visit

The TI:GER program proudly shares this enthusiasm for expanding invention, innovation, and entrepreneurship in the United States – especially among historically underrepresented groups. Our students work with innovators to assess new inventions, tech products, and other innovations for patentability and other statutory protections.

If you are interested in learning more about the TI:GER program, please contact our office today.