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The Growing Global Trend in the Use of Artificial Intelligence and Big Data in Patent and Trademark Applications

Startups and tech companies are not the only ones who are developing artificial intelligence (AI) and big data technologies to improve efficiency.  The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) recently published a summary report indicating that intellectual property offices throughout the world are evaluating and experimenting with AI.

Although the use of AI is still in the proof of concept stage, full implementation is likely on the horizon.  WIPO’s report notes the following advantages: cost savings, increased expediency of examination of the application, and overall improved ability to provide examination services.  Although no direct disadvantages were noted, WIPO notes the need to revise policies for the administration of intellectual property offices to adapt to these technological changes.  You can find the full report here.

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has implemented the use of AI and big data in the examination of patent and trademark applications and in the USPTO’s internal procedures.  The USPTO is testing the applications of AI in three main areas: patent examination, trademark image searches, and the USPTO’s internal policies and procedures.

Here are some key quotes from WIPO’s summary:

AI, big data, and machine learning for patent examination

The USPTO has a program combining AI with big data and machine learning for application in several fields. The provision of the most useful and relevant information to determine patentability by an examiner, textual analysis of patent applications and subsequent office actions to analyze the entire patent prosecution history and improving the application programming interfaces to provide better access to the public to USPTO data.

Machine learning for image searching for trademark applications

“The efficacy of deep machine learning for image searching for Trademarks is also included in the program.”

AI used to enhance efficiency in USPTO’s internal workflow and procedures

“Among IPOs that replied to the Note, one IPO (the Patent and Trademark Office of the United States (USPTO)) has an advanced analytics program using AI to enhance an understanding of its policies, processes and workflows.”

If the USPTO implements AI into their standard examining procedures, it will be interesting to see when applicants and their attorneys begin using this technology as a standard part of the clearance and preparation of patent and trademark applications.  Over time as the use of AI becomes more ubiquitous, it will be disadvantageous for applicants and their attorneys to ignore these tools as they become available, reliable, and affordable.

If you’d like to discuss the issues of artificial intelligence, innovation, and technology in the prosecution of patents and trademarks, please contact me at ssspangler@norris-law.com.