USPTO issues guidance concerning the use of AI tools by parties and practitioners

As mentioned in our February 6, 2024 guidance to ensure AI is not misused – or left unchecked – in practice before our judicial boards, we are publishing additional guidance in the Federal Register for practitioners and the public to inform them of the important issues that patent and trademark professionals, innovators, and entrepreneurs must navigate while using artificial intelligence (AI) in matters before the USPTO.

The guidance reminds individuals involved in proceedings before the USPTO of the pertinent rules and policies, helps inform those same individuals of the risks associated with the use of AI, and provides suggestions to mitigate those risks.  

"Today’s notice is part of our work shaping AI policy, and encourages the safe and responsible use of AI to benefit the IP and innovation ecosystem,” said Kathi Vidal, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO. “The requirements in existing USPTO rules serve to protect the integrity of our proceedings and to avoid delay and unnecessary cost, and they apply regardless of how a submission is generated. We will continue to listen to stakeholders on this policy and on all our measures to use AI responsibly and safely to democratize and scale U.S. innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship.”

The use of AI by those appearing before the USPTO provides opportunities to expand access to our innovation ecosystem and lower costs for parties and practitioners, while reinforcing the importance of using these tools responsibly. The USPTO continues to be actively involved in the development of domestic and international measures to address AI considerations at the intersection of innovation, creativity, and intellectual property (IP).

As outlined in President Biden’s Executive Order on Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy AI, the USPTO recently released guidance on AI-enabled innovations, will soon issue guidance on other aspects of patentability, and will issue recommendations for executive action related to copyright and AI. The USPTO is working with Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and other federal agencies to guide U.S. administration policy on AI and IP topics such as: the use of data in AI training; transparency and regulatory disclosures; trade secret protection; and the legal implications of AI-generated content.

The full text of the guidance is available in the Federal Register and on our Artificial Intelligence webpage.