AlphaFold 2, Open Source AI for Protein Structure Prediction

Attorney: Yuki Onoe
August 2, 2021

On July 15, a team of scientists published a Nature article, titled “Highly accurate protein structure prediction with AlphaFold.”[1] The article describes how the neural network model developed by Google’s DeepMind can predict protein structures “with atomic accuracy even where no similar structure is known.”[2] In addition, DeepMind has now open-sourced the code for AlphaFold 2, allowing further collaborations for even more accurate protein structure prediction.<... Read more

Amazon's Alexa Survives Infringement Battle Against Three Voice Technology Patents

Attorney: Alec M. Royka
July 8, 2021

On June 22, 2021, a Western District of Texas jury returned a verdict in Freshhub, Inc. v. Amazon.com Inc., finding that Amazon’s Alexa devices do not infringe three voice technology patents owned by Freshub.[1] We want to report and discuss this case on the AI Patent Blog because virtual assistant software and products represent a commercially significant form of AI technology, and this case dives into the nuanced differences between legacy voice recognition software and modern AI-based virtual assistants.<... Read more

AI and Written Description: When Does an AI Patent Claim Cross the Line?

Attorney: Sameer Gokhale
June 28, 2021

Following Ed Garlepp’s great discussion on AI disclosure issues[1][2], I want to describe a related problem with AI and issues arising under the written description requirement that I often bring up when presenting on this topic. I started raising this topic following an episode of HBO’s Silicon Valley.  One of the characters who lives in the incubator depicted in the show, Jian Yang, pitches an app to venture capitalists called “See Food” which is described as a “Shazam for food.” The user takes a picture of food, and then the app returns an identification of the food.    Eventually Jian Yang does come up with an app that can identify food. The problem: it can only identify “hot dog” and “not hot dog.”  When asked why he only created an app that only recognizes one type of food, Jian Yang explains that identifying more foods will require scraping significantly more images of food from the Internet to use as training data for a computational model.<... Read more

Application of AI in Legal Services

June 11, 2021

written by: Kasumi Kanetaka

A question that is often asked is why there are so many lawyers? The question is often paired with questions about why lawyers spend so much time on seemingly insignificant tasks and why they are always busy and have a poor work-life balance.<... Read more

Protecting the Data that Fuels AI

Attorney: Sameer Gokhale
May 28, 2021

Recently, I had the privilege of participating in a couple of virtual conferences as a panelist on issues related to artificial intelligence (AI) and intellectual property (IP). Normally when I participate as a speaker at a conference I speak on many of the issues you may have read in our previous blog posts. I tend to focus heavily on patent prosecution issues in obtaining an AI patent, whether in the U.S. or around the globe. However, these two recent panels had a particular focus on how to protect data as an asset. While the issue of protecting data (or information in general) has long been a grey area issue in the realm of IP, this issue has risen to the forefront due to AI and the rise of “Big Data.” <... Read more

Disclosing AI Inventions - Part II: Describing and Enabling AI Inventions

Attorney: Edwin D. Garlepp
April 30, 2021

In Part I of this series on Disclosing AI Inventions, we discussed the basics of machine learning and the unique disclosure challenges presented by the “black box” nature of trained machine learning models. Nevertheless, current U.S. patent laws are generally viewed as sufficient to ensure adequate disclosure of machine learning inventions to the public, and it will be left to the courts to shape the details of disclosure requirements through interpretation of existing patent laws.  In this Part II, we discuss techniques for disclosing machine learning inventions in compliance with the written description and enablement requirements of 35 U.S.C. 112(a).<... Read more

Drafting Claims for Supervised Machine-Learning Systems

Attorney: Kurt M. Berger, Ph.D.
April 16, 2021

        Supervised machine-learning models are at the heart of some of the biggest advances in artificial intelligence (AI) that have emerged in the past decade. This post revisits the nuts and bolts of drafting claims in this area, and includes two different industry examples of implementing supervised machine learning: medical imaging and speech detection.<... Read more

Disclosing AI Inventions - Part I: Identifying the Unique Disclosure Issues

Attorney: Edwin D. Garlepp
April 9, 2021

            Our recent post “Tracking AI Prosecution Trends at the U.S. Patent Office” presented USPTO data which suggests that future prosecution of AI inventions may be less focused on patent eligibility under 35 U.S.C. §101 and more focused on the traditional requirements of §§ 102, 103 and 112. This post is the first of a two part series looking into the challenges that AI inventions present to one of these traditional requirements: patent disclosure under 35 U.S.C. §112(a). In this Part I, we identify the unique disclosure issues with AI inventions. In Part II, we provide practice tips for describing and enabling AI inventions.<... Read more

Invention and Conception: The AI Conundrum

Attorney: James R. Love
March 17, 2021

As has been discussed here previously,[1] the current position of the USPTO is that Artificial Intelligence (AI) cannot be an inventor.[2] The USPTO’s position on the matter has been challenged in district court in Thaler v. Iancu, et al, 1:20-cv-00903.[3] Although the case is not yet complete, it is likely that the court will side with the USPTO and hold that AI cannot be considered to be an inventor of a US patent application based on 35 U.S.C. § 100(f), which clearly states that “the term ‘inventor’ means the individual, or, if a joint invention, the individuals collectively who invented or discovered the subject matter of the invention.” Although Thaler, the Plaintiff in the case, has made a number of policy arguments for inclusion of AI inventorship, a ruling in his favor would be a surprise.<... Read more

Tracking AI Prosecution Trends at the U.S. Patent Office

March 5, 2021

written by Alec Royka 

Following last week’s post on this blog (AI Patent Trends in the U.S. Patent Office: Is the U.S. Losing Its Lead?), we look deeper into the filing data of AI applications to better understand how the USPTO’s treatment of inventions in this field have evolved over time. AI applications are increasing rapidly, but what happens when these applications get into substantive prosecution? Patent practitioners who understand this information can better help their clients avoid some of the pitfalls present, potentially resulting in higher allowance rates and less office actions to disposition. The data presented throughout this post was compiled using Juristat and focuses on the USPTO’s Art Units which handle the greatest number of AI filings (2122, 2129, 2121, 2124, 2123, 2128, 2127), further filtered by USPC 706, which relates to “Data Processing – Artificial Intelligence.”<... Read more