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Director's Forum: A Blog from USPTO's Leadership

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As a former Silicon Valley intellectual property attorney for more than 20 years, the potential of disruptive technology has long been of special interest to me. Artificial intelligence (AI) promises to be one of the most important innovations that powers many disruptive ventures and brings exciting changes to our legal system. AI is already influencing the way we work, travel, shop, and play. From autonomous vehicles to improved medical diagnostics to voice assistants, AI is increasingly at the forefront of innovation. As a continuation of the United States Patent and Trademark Office's (USPTO) policy leadership in the field of AI, the USPTO convened a conference on Artificial Intelligence: Intellectual Property Policy Considerations on January 31 this year.


Artificial Intelligence and Intellectual Property: Transatlantic Approaches

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The World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) held its third "Conversation on Intellectual Property and Artificial Intelligence" on November 4, 2020, to discuss its revised issues paper on Intellectual Property Policy and Artificial Intelligence. Public bodies in the United States, United Kingdom, and European Union have each recently published reports on the interrelationship of AI on IP policy. In October 2020, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published a report, Public Views on Artificial Intelligence and Intellectual Property Policy, on two formal requests for comments, and the European Parliament published a report on intellectual property rights for the development of AI technologies. In September 2020, the UK's Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) published a call for views on the policy considerations and future relationship between AI and IP. Courts in each jurisdiction have so far rejected the suggestion that AI has its own legal personality.


U.S. Patent and Trademark Office wants your opinion on AI inventions

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The U.S. Department of Commerce's Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is asking for the help of experts and the broader public to determine the impact AI will have on intellectual property and "whether new forms of intellectual property protection are needed." A call for public comment was published in the Federal Registrar by the USPTO today in search of answers about such issues as how AI is reshaping perceptions of inventions or whether additional information should be required to claim a deep learning system as an invention since they can have a large number of hidden layers and weights that evolve. To help solicit responses, the notice in the federal registrar comes along with a series of questions such as "what is an AI invention and what does it contain?" "What are the different ways that a natural person can contribute to conception of an AI invention and be eligible to be a named inventor? Structuring data in order to train a model?


How the U.S. patent office is keeping up with AI

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Technology keeps creating challenges for intellectual property law. The infamous case of the "monkey selfie" challenged the notion of not just who owns a piece of intellectual property, but what constitutes a "who" in the first place. Last decade's semi-sentient monkey is giving way to a new "who": artificial intelligence. The rapid rise of AI has forced the legal field to ask difficult questions about whether an AI can hold a patent at all, how existing IP and patent laws can address the unique challenges that AI presents, and what challenges remain. The answers to these questions are not trivial; stakeholders have poured billions upon billions of dollars into researching and developing AI technologies and AI-powered products and services across academia, government, and industry.


U.S. Patent and Trademark Office wants your opinion on AI inventions

#artificialintelligence

The U.S. Department of Commerce's Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is asking for the help of experts and the broader public to determine the impact AI will have on intellectual property and "whether new forms of intellectual property protection are needed." A call for public comment was published in the Federal Registrar by the USPTO today in search of answers about such issues as how AI is reshaping perceptions of inventions or whether additional information should be required to claim a deep learning system as an invention since they can have a large number of hidden layers and weights that evolve. To help solicit responses, the notice in the federal registrar comes along with a series of questions such as "what is an AI invention and what does it contain?" "What are the different ways that a natural person can contribute to conception of an AI invention and be eligible to be a named inventor? Structuring data in order to train a model?