is an intern at IP EDGE LLC. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science from The University of Georgia and is planning on attending law school.
In response to articles on implementing AI into our patent system, and specifically to the suggestion that we should consider developing AI to replace some aspects of human decision making in the patent space, we have received a number of comments and even objections to the idea. A common objection: it is likely impossible and impractical for us to advance AI to the point where it can make reliable subjective decisions (e.g., infringement and obviousness), let alone reliably replace human decision making. At the outset, we challenge the presumption of this argument.
In response to our recent article on artificial intelligence (AI) reducing transactional costs to help determine infringement and invalidity determinations, a commenter made an interesting counterpoint, paraphrased as the following: AI provides useful tools that should be used as an aid to human thinkers, not as a replacement to human thinking. Moreover, when it comes to AI making subjective determinations, such as obviousness or novelty, we should be skeptical of relying on AI, either legally or practically. We appreciate the counterpoint and we wanted to address it in this follow-up article.
The United States has a clear need for patent reform, but does our legislature understand how to implement that reform? For decades, a shortcoming to our approach to patent reform has been misidentifying the problem as “patent trolls” (more generally, bad actors). Based on a misidentified problem, we have implemented a decades-long policy to systematically weaken patent rights, in an attempt to deter this archetypal bad actor. If we instead use economic principles to address patent reform, we would understand the root problem to our patent system—exorbitantly bloated transactional costs.