Industry News Details

As AI Evolves, No Need For Overhaul of U.S. Patent System … Yet Posted on : Sep 14 - 2020

It’s not surprising that we’ve experienced an explosion in artificial intelligence (AI) patent activity over the past several years. As recently as 2016, the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) issued less than 1,000 AI-related patents. [1] By 2019, that number rose to over 3,300, and we are on pace for more than 5,000 AI-related patent grants in 2020.

As this explosion has occurred, so have interesting questions concerning patentability, inventorship, ownership, and disclosure issues. To address these (and other) concerns, the USPTO launched its Artificial Intelligence Initiative in 2019, engaging the innovation community and experts to determine whether AI required any changes to the U.S. Patent system. In response to requests for public comments on these topics, the USPTO received comments from 43 organizations, ranging from domestic and international patent/IP bar associations to companies such as Ford Motor Co. and Merck, and also from 55 individuals. [2]

Patent Protection Should Be Awarded to the Individuals and Entities Developing AI Technologies

At the highest levels, new AI technologies and technologies incorporating AI should be eligible for intellectual property protections. The incentive system of the U.S. intellectual property regime rewards innovation and investment in development of new and useful technologies. In this sense, AI is no different from many transformative technologies that came before AI. View More