USPTO Interviews: One giant leap


Sarah Morgan

USPTO Interviews: One giant leap

Yuganov Konstantin /

USPTO deputy director Laura Peter explains to WIPR’s Sarah Morgan how the office is undertaking several initiatives to support women throughout the management chain at the IP office.

Being deputy director of the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) was not Laura Peter’s first career choice. If you had asked the three-year-old Peter what she wanted to do when she grew up, “astronaut” would have topped the list.

With a father serving as a vice president at Hughes Aircraft Company and her interests including the first geosynchronous satellites being launched into orbit, the sky was no limit to her ambition. 

She soon realised, however, that heights were not her friend and instead turned towards engineering school at Cornell University. While there, she learned what it was like to be one of the only women in the room. What began as an equally split class on gender lines fell to only 20% women on graduation.

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