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Monday Jun 06, 2022

Incentivizing and protecting innovation in artificial intelligence and emerging technologies

AI and Emerging Technologies Partnership: Join upcoming discussions on maximizing innovation’s widespread impact

Blog by Kathi Vidal, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO

artificial intelligence graphic

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a transformative technology that impacts our economy and society in exciting ways, including some that have the potential to dramatically affect our day-to-day lives and provide benefits to our social wellbeing, such as using AI to help discover breakthroughs in healthcare and tackle climate change. The USPTO plays an important role in incentivizing innovation in critical technologies such as AI and other emerging technologies (ET) (e.g., quantum computing, synthetic biology, blockchain, precision medicine, and virtual reality), and maximizing these innovations’ widespread impact to enhance our country’s competitiveness, economic prosperity, and national security, and to solve world problems.

In recent years, we have actively engaged with our stakeholders on AI and ET, and have had the chance to discuss the importance of intellectual property (IP) rights as an incentive to foster innovation in these critical areas. We have published several reports on AI, gathered feedback through requests for comments, and held several events focused on AI and ET. Our work aligns with and supports the mission of the National AI Initiative to ensure continued U.S. leadership in AI research and development, and addresses some of the recommendations from the Final National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (NSCAI) Report to Congress.

To build on these efforts, the USPTO is forming a partnership (AI/ET Partnership) with the AI and ET communities, including, for example, academia, independent inventors, small businesses, industry, other government agencies, nonprofits, and civil society. The AI/ET Partnership will provide an opportunity to bring these stakeholders together to share perspectives, experiences, and insights, and foster opportunities to collaborate on the intersection of intellectual property and AI and ET. Through our AI/ET Partnership, we will continue to gather useful input from the AI and ET innovation communities.

That is why, as we recently announced in our Federal Register notice, we will be holding an upcoming series of AI/ET Partnership stakeholder meetings. These public meetings will highlight our AI and ET-related initiatives and will explore various IP policy issues impacted by AI and ET. These meetings will also include discussions on how AI and ET are being leveraged within the USPTO to serve our stakeholders, while fostering public trust by promoting trustworthy and responsible use of these technologies.

In the inaugural meeting on June 29, we will have panel discussions on important patent policy issues such as subject matter eligibility, disclosure requirements of AI inventions, and the implications of AI’s increasing role in the inventive process in some fields. We will also discuss the effectiveness of current patent laws and USPTO guidelines that incentivize innovation and investment, and ways in which the patent system could evolve to encourage and protect AI and ET inventions. Speakers will explore data from patent filings and how they inform innovation trends in these critical technology areas.

The purpose of these meetings is to hear from the innovation community and to promote greater awareness, openness, and inclusivity on our ongoing and future AI and ET efforts. Our takeaways will shape our future work on AI and ET policy and will inform the broader U.S. government’s approach to AI and ET.

Whether you are an independent inventor, small business, or in academia, industry, federal agency, or at a nonprofit, we want to hear your views. We hope you can join us at an upcoming AI/ET Partnership meeting or watch the recordings, which will be available on our AI/ET Partnership webpage. We welcome your feedback at any time and encourage you to email any questions or ideas of topics for discussion at future meetings to


will AI change our life to the best?

Posted by olfa kraiem on June 06, 2022 at 11:44 PM EDT #

Interesting post. Regulators have to step up with regards to artificial intelligence. This technology could have far-reaching consequences and it is important that it leads to no abuse in our society. But I would like to ask a question. Earlier today, I saw an article in The Guardian about a software engineer who claimed that one of Google's AI projects was sentient. Now, the engineer shared a transcript of a conversation it had with the AI software and claimed that Google might view the transcripts as proprietary property. Is this true? Wouldn't only the software itself be protected by IP laws and not it's input or output? Can Google actually take successful legal action against the engineer?

Posted by Prithvi Mamidala on June 13, 2022 at 02:56 AM EDT #

Will AI be used to help make examination 'suggestions' to often 'inconsistent' & sometimes 'unfair' examiners & judges? After all there's not much humans can do that computers can't, at least, get very close to doing well. They can even play 'Go' like a master (something thought impossible for a long time)! Patent allowance is supposed to be based solely on 'facts', 'logic', 'prior decisions', 'objectivity', 'consistency' & 'fairness' (no favorites). Computers can easily handle ALL those things, especially since they 'won't care' who the applicant's are, how well connected they may be, how large an entity they represent, or how a 'rookie' typically examines them (& then promptly denies them as instructed). They also won't care about the economic consequences of issuing even a 'broad patent'. They will be totally neutral when it comes to consequences & economics.

Posted by Inventor on July 20, 2022 at 03:21 PM EDT #

Would the PTO & lawyers who depend on the current application process, remaining extremely complex, unpredictable and often inconsistent (so that 'ordinary humans' will NEVER comprehend how the system works), be worried IF computers & AI could one day replace them? Would they be worried if the cost to obtain & 'defend' a patent could go WAY down to a small fraction of what it is now? Currently each application costs a small fortune (that 99.99% of Americans CAN'T AFFORD to spend, especially if at the end of this 'astronomically expensive' and 'extremely long' process, they are simply denied a patent for their innovative work or are issued a 'worthless' patent that just causes more problems & wastes even more money (that could be much better spent). Shouldn't the goal of the USPTO be to make patent examination high quality, fast and 'cheap'? AI could do that!

Posted by Inventor on July 22, 2022 at 06:00 AM EDT #

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