PTO's Iancu: AI Algorithms Generally Patentable


Andrei Iancu, director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), says that the courts have strayed on the issue of patent eligibility, including signaling he thought algorithms using artificial intelligence were patentable as a general proposition. That came in a USPTO oversight hearing Wednesday (April 18) before a generally supportive Senate Judiciary Committee panel. Both Iancu and the legislators were in agreement that more clarity was needed in the area of computer-related patents, and that PTO needed to provide more precedential opinions when issuing patents so it was not trying to reinvent the wheel each time and to better guide courts. At issue are Supreme Court decisions that Iancu said had injected "a degree of uncertainty" into that area of law. He said PTO would come up with guidelines to help better define what is patent-eligible, but that it was a challenge that needed to be addressed by Congress and stakeholders as well.

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