USPTO clarifies guidance to judicial Boards on holding parties responsible for the misuse of AI in legal proceedings

Published on: 02/06/2024 16:45 PM




US Patent and Trademark Office

USPTO clarifies guidance to judicial Boards on holding parties responsible for the misuse of AI in legal proceedings

As part of continued efforts to shape AI policy, agency notes existing rules apply when AI is used in drafting of legal submissions 

The use of artificial intelligence (AI) by those appearing before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (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.

To ensure AI is not misused – or left unchecked – in practice before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB), today Kathi Vidal, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO, issued guidance on “The Applicability of Existing Regulations as to Party and Practitioner Misconduct Related to the Use of Artificial Intelligence.” The guidance clarifies existing rules and policies and discusses how to apply them when AI is used in the drafting of submissions to these Boards.  

“AI is a rapidly evolving landscape that requires responsible use and thoughtful policy,” remarked Director Vidal. “This guidance is part of our ongoing efforts to shape that policy. 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.” 

Over the coming months, the USPTO will be publishing a notice in the Federal Register providing more guidance to the public and to other USPTO business units concerning the use of AI tools by parties and practitioners.  

As for the broader policy at the intersection of AI and intellectual property (IP), the USPTO continues to be actively involved in the development of domestic and international measures related to AI for all forms of IP. As outlined in President Biden’s Executive Order on Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy AI, the USPTO will soon be releasing guidance on inventorship of AI-enabled innovations, will seek further comment 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.

For more information, please visit the USPTO’s Artificial Intelligence initiatives webpage.  


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