Posts Tagged: "artificial intelligence"

We Must Remain Open to the Future Possibilities of AI—Even if it Means Replacing Humans

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.

IPW Webinar: Augmenting Innovation and Competitive Intelligence using AI based IP Insights

Everyone understands the importance of monitoring technology trends, competitors and new market entrants to support innovation and portfolio optimization but engaging in competitive landscape analysis takes time — lots of time. In the fast-moving world of technology, those in the day-to-day IP operations end of businesses must find efficient ways to do their jobs better to be able to extract…

NSCAI Final Report: United States Must Up Its IP Game to Win the AI Race

The National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (NSCAI) recently issued its Final Report outlining a strategy for the United States to “win” the artificial intelligence (AI) era. Critically, the Commission argues that the United States government is not currently organizing or investing to win the technology competition in AI against a committed competitor (i.e., China), nor is it prepared to defend against AI-enabled threats and rapidly adopt AI applications for national security purposes. In addition to the potential patent-eligibility and data ownership IP issues noted in the Report, other IP uncertainties unique to AI technology continue to persist, such as machine authorship and machine inventorship of valuable contributions. As part of the United States’ overall strategic interests in winning the AI era, the Commission recommends that the United States adopt IP policies to incentivize, expand, and protect AI and emerging technologies, as well as recognize IP as a national priority. But significant questions remain as to whether U.S. courts will reliably permit IP holders to proceed with AI-focused IP infringement claims against potential offenders, or if patent-eligibility, inventorship, fair use, and other defenses will tip the scales towards trade secret protection.

How to Safeguard AI Technology: Patents versus Trade Secrets

A common refrain is that an invention is only as valuable as the patent that protects it. But what happens when you cannot secure the patent? This is a frequent hurdle for inventors seeking to patent products utilizing artificial intelligence (AI). While still in its infancy, at least compared to the lofty expectations of technology enthusiasts, AI has proven integral to driving innovation, but it has also proven equally vexing to fit into the intellectual property legal regime.

Trade Secrets and the Insider Threat: Protection Beyond the Perimeter

The managers of most companies tend to see information security as a Lord of the Rings problem, with the focus on protecting the perimeter. This reflects the popular view. Indeed, from reading headlines about hackers, you might think that cybercrime –malign attacks from evil outsiders – represents the most common way that commercial information is lost. And you would be wrong. It’s not the overlooked vulnerability in the company’s firewall that gets exploited by determined external enemies. Instead, it’s the careless employee who overshares on social media, brags at parties, or leaves a sensitive document in an airport lounge. (Remember traveling on planes?)

Should We Require Human Inventorship? Submit Your Amicus Brief by March

Patent systems around the globe offer a quid pro quo that exchanges limited monopolies for disclosures of inventions. Most patent filings list: (1) the inventor(s); and (2) the applicant. The applicant may be an assignee (e.g., company, university, organization, etc.) with rights to seek patent protection on innovations that were identified during employment and that were within a scope of employment. Frequently, the assignee is a current or former employer of the inventor(s). In some jurisdictions (e.g., in the United States), the inventor(s) hold the rights to prosecute the patent application and assert any resulting patent unless and until the inventor(s) assign those rights to another entity (which is frequently done in employment and work?for?hire contracts). In some jurisdictions (e.g., the European Union), it is presumed that the party that applied for a patent holds the rights to the patent application. Thus, it is well-established that non-human entities may be the applicant, assignee, and/or owner of a patent. However, it is not well-established that a non-human entity may be an inventor on a patent applicant. Multiple patent offices (e.g., USPTO, UKIPO, and WIPO) have been considering what the standard in this respect should be.

Microsoft Patent Reaches Beyond Death to Pseudo-Reincarnation

Reports surfaced last week that Microsoft was granted a patent in December for a way to allow people to have conversations with loved ones after they’re deceased. The tech company a tool that could make it possible to have a virtual conversation via a chatbot with a “past or present entity … such as a friend, a relative, an acquaintance, a celebrity, a fictional character, a historical figure.” Further, the patent indicates that the chat would use imagery to “mold a personality alongside a 3D model of its real-life counterpart using letters and images.”

Using AI to Reduce Transactional Costs of Patent Validity and Infringement Determinations

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.

Artificial Intelligence in the Life Sciences Industry — Strategies for IP Protection

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a rapidly growing sector of the life sciences industry, with broad-ranging applications in drug discovery, biotechnology, medical diagnosis, clinical trials, precision and personalized medicine and patient monitoring. The recent uptick of AI use in this industry is likely due to the increasing availability of “big data.” AI technologies including machine learning, deep learning, and natural language processing can be harnessed to process vast data sets to identify new drug candidates, optimize drug dosing, match patients with drug trials and diagnose diseases. Recognizing this potential, global biopharma companies have invested heavily in AI technology—the AI in life sciences market was valued at USD 1092.44 million in 2019 and is expected to reach USD 3445.60 million by 2025.

EPO Study Examines Trends in Fourth Industrial Revolution Technologies

The European Patent Office (EPO) issued a press release and 75-page study on December 10, titled “Patents and the Fourth Industrial Revolution – the global technology trends enabling the data-driven economy,” which examined global trends in innovation in fourth industrial revolution (4IR) technologies. As used in the study, 4IR denotes “the full integration of information and communication technologies (ICT) in the context of manufacturing and application areas such as personal, home, vehicle, enterprise and infrastructure,” and it marks a “radical step towards a fully data-driven economy.” The study examined international patent families (IPFs), i.e., inventions for which patent applications have been filed in two or more patent offices, related to 4IR worldwide between 2000 and 2018. The study revealed that, between 2010 and 2018, global patent filings for 4IR technologies, including smart connected objects, Internet of Things, Big Data, 5G, and Artificial Intelligence (AI), grew at an average annual rate of almost 20%, which is nearly five times faster than the average of all technology fields.

WIPO’s INSPIRE Offers a New Way to Select Databases for Patent Searches Involving Machine Translations

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) launched their INSPIRE (Index of Specialized Patent Information Reports) “database of databases” on November 4, 2020. It provides useful summaries of patent databases to help both novice and expert patent searchers identify the most suitable search system. WIPO’s ultimate goal was to speed up the pace at which innovation takes place. To do this, INSPIRE identifies database features without commenting on any strengths or weaknesses of products. At the time of writing, INSPIRE listed 23 databases, both free and subscription. Content was still being added to the collection and there was scope for more sources to be included.

USPTO Releases Benchmark Study on the Artificial Intelligence Patent Landscape

On October 27, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) released a report titled “Inventing AI: Tracing the diffusion of artificial intelligence with U.S. patents.” The study showed that artificial intelligence (AI) patent applications increased by more than 100% between 2002 and 2018, from 30,000 to over 60,000, and the overall share of patent applications containing AI subject matter rose from 9% to nearly 16%.

Determining the Likelihood that an AI Patent Application Will Be Allowed at the USPTO

As computing power and large datasets become more available, the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in technology is exploding around the world. As an indicator of the impact of AI, private equity investment in AI start-ups attracted 12% of worldwide private equity investments in the first half of 2018, reflecting a four-fold increase from just 3% in 2011, across all major economies. In the United States, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has taken steps to adapt to AI inventions, asking in August of 2019 for public comment on questions ranging from AI inventorship to how to best consider AI elements of inventions. The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has also asked similar questions, as part of its conversation on intellectual property (IP) and AI, which published its first Draft Issues Paper on IP policy and AI in December of 2019 and is continuing to hold meetings on the topic.

Voices, Copyrighting and Deepfakes

Jay-Z recently tried to have a YouTube video removed for copyright violations. When YouTuber Voice Synthesis used an open-source program, Tacotron 2, to digitally impersonate Jay-Z’s iconic voice saying different things or singing songs, his entertainment agency Roc Nation LLC claimed that the YouTuber “unlawfully uses an AI to impersonate our client’s voice” and infringe on Jay-Z’s copyright. Roc Nation’s assertion of copyright protection via YouTube’s copyright strike system begs the question: with ever-evolving AI, are voices copyrightable? 

UK Judge Upholds Refusal of DABUS Patents

In the latest decision regarding inventions made by the DABUS artificial intelligence machine, the England & Wales High Court has upheld two decisions of the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) deeming the UK patent applications to be withdrawn. In a judgment on September 21, Mr Justice Marcus Smith found that all the grounds of appeal filed by the applicant, Dr Thaler, must be dismissed. (Thaler v The Comptroller-General of Patents, Designs And Trade Marks [2020] EWHC 2412 (Pat).) As previously reported by IPWatchdog, the patent applications (for a fractal container and a neural flame) have been filed in many jurisdictions. The applicant claims that they are the autonomous output of the DABUS machine. Like the UKIPO, the EPO and USPTO have published decisions refusing to accept them.