International Women’s Day

Women in Intellectual Property and messages from our Partners for International Women's Day

First Woman to File an American Patent 

For creating a procedure for weaving straw with silk or thread, Mary Dixon Kies was awarded the first U.S. patent in 1809. The patent file was unfortunately destroyed in the great Patent Office fire in 1836. Only roughly 20 other patents were issued to women until around 1840. Apparel, tools, cook stoves, and fireplaces were among the inventions. 

Invention of brown Paper Bags 

Margaret ‘Mattie’ Knight was born in 1838. She obtained her first patent at the age of 30, but she had always been engaged in inventing. She developed a concept for a stop-motion device that might be used in textile mills to shut down machinery and protect workers from being injured when she was only 12 years old. Her machine, which produced flat-bottomed paper bags, is still in use today; Knight got a total of 26 patents in the end. 

The “mother” of Programming Computers 

Grace Hopper (1906-1992) was one of the first programmers to transform huge digital computers from giant calculators to intelligent machines capable of interpreting “human” commands. Hopper created the Common Business-Oriented Language, or COBOL, which is currently the most frequently used computer business language in the world. Hopper was the first woman to receive a Ph.D. in mathematics from Yale University and the first woman to earn the rank of admiral in the US Navy in 1985, among many other firsts. Her contributions were produced before computer software technology was even deemed a “patentable” topic; hence her work was never patented. 

First Female Patent Attorney  

Florence King was the first woman to register with the United States Patent Office in 1897, the first woman to argue a patent case before the United States Supreme Court in 1922, and the first woman to win a case before the United States Supreme Court in 1923. (Crown v. Nye).  After three years at Armour Institute of Technology, she worked as a consulting engineer in machine design and construction. She formed the Women’s Association of Commerce of Chicago and the Woman’s Association of Commerce of the United States and served as their president. 


Special messages from:

Inmaculada de la Haza (Partner and first female COAPI President)

Dear colleagues,  

We dedicate to our work a great part of our day as well as of our life. For those who see in the day-to-day of their profession a unique opportunity to grow professionally and personally, relationships with other colleagues are undoubtedly a valuable part of their work.  

This is where bonds of trust and well-being are created, which are decisive not only for the success of our career but also for our personal happiness. It is up to us to firmly denounce inequalities, however hidden and veiled they may appear, and at the same time to be a valid point of reference for the new generations. Young women lawyers in our firms must develop in motivating environments, where they receive training and grow by valuing their colleagues.  

Every day counts on the road to equality and every gesture is part of our corporate culture! 


Patricia Koch (Partner)

Intellectual property focuses on human creativity and innovation. Do not let anyone deny your ability because you are a woman. Women can contribute to absolute equality with our peers. Did you know that less than 20% of inventors are women? There is no reason why this should be so. Contribute to change it. Together we can do it.  

Women now have all the possibilities at our disposal, we have the opportunity to show our worth. Don’t stop doing it! Make your mark, show how much you are worth. And where better than by dealing with trademarks and patents?