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

#artificialintelligence

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.


Despite Pledging Openness, Companies Rush to Patent AI Tech

WIRED

"We create open platforms and share our technology because it helps new ideas get out faster," Pichai said. Then he namechecked TensorFlow, the machine learning software Google developed and uses internally. The company open sourced the code in 2015, and it has since been downloaded more than 15 million times. "We created TensorFlow to make it possible for anyone to use AI," Pichai said. Such homilies to openness have become standard from the large tech companies competing intensely to develop AI technology.


Google proposes applying AI to patent application generation and categorization

#artificialintelligence

Google asserts that the patent industry stands to benefit from AI and machine learning models like BERT, a natural language processing algorithm that attained state-of-the-art results when it was released in 2018. In a whitepaper published today, the tech giant outlines a methodology to train a BERT model on over 100 million patent publications from the U.S. and other countries using open-source tooling, which can then be used to determine the novelty of patents and generate classifications to assist with categorization. The global patent corpus is large, with millions of new patents issued every year. Patent applications average around 10,000 words and are meticulously wordsmithed by inventors, lawyers, and patent examiners. Patent filings are also written with language that can be unintelligible to lay readers and highly context-dependent; many terms are used to mean completely different things in different patents.


Edison, Morse ... Watson? AI Poses Test of Who's an Inventor

#artificialintelligence

Computers using artificial intelligence are discovering medicines, designing better golf clubs and creating video games. Patent offices around the world are grappling with the question of who -- if anyone -- owns innovations developed using AI. The answer may upend what's eligible for protection and who profits as AI transforms entire industries. "There are machines right now that are doing far more on their own than to help an engineer or a scientist or an inventor do their jobs," said Andrei Iancu, director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. "We will get to a point where a court or legislature will say the human being is so disengaged, so many levels removed, that the actual human did not contribute to the inventive concept."


Edison, Morse and Watson? AI poses question of who's an inventor

The Japan Times

WASHINGTON/SEATTLE – Computers using artificial intelligence are discovering medicines, designing better golf clubs and creating video games. Patent offices around the world are grappling with the question of who -- if anyone -- owns innovations developed using AI. The answer may upend what's eligible for protection and who profits as AI transforms entire industries. "There are machines right now that are doing far more on their own than to help an engineer or a scientist or an inventor do their jobs," said Andrei Iancu, director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. "We will get to a point where a court or legislature will say the human being is so disengaged, so many levels removed, that the actual human did not contribute to the inventive concept."