Update on DABUS: Can an AI Machine be an Inventor?

Attorney: Kurt M. Berger, Ph.D.
October 18, 2021

As previously discussed in this blog (see Creation vs. Conception: Can an AI Machines be an Inventor?) some AI researchers believe that the output of certain sophisticated AI software can represent a new invention conceived of, not by the author, user, or trainer of the software, but by the software itself, and that the software or the “AI machine” should be listed as the inventor on a patent application for the new invention. This AI-machine-as-inventor proposition is currently being tested by Dr. Stephen Thaler via the filing of patent applications in over a dozen countries for inventions allegedly invented by a neural-network-based AI machine (“DABUS”), and the listing of the inventor as “DABUS” on the application (with Dr. Thaler listed as the applicant and assignee).  At the time of our previous posts last fall, the USPTO, the EPO, and the UKIPO each objected to listing DABUS as the inventor since DABUS is not a natural person.<... Read more

My Reflections on Examining and Prosecuting Patents in AI for the Last 40 Years

October 7, 2021

by: Robert W. Downs, Ph.D.

My career includes work in research in artificial intelligence, patent examination at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and patent application preparation and prosecution, all over a period of about 40 years. Over that period, I have completed three Masters Degree programs in computer-related fields. As a researcher, I have experienced the difficult challenge of not just writing computer programs in programming languages such as Fortran and Lisp, but getting the programs to work and actually produce desired results. As a patent examiner, I have experienced the difficult challenge of searching for prior art based on a high level description of an invention, as well as judging whether a computer-related invention is patentable under Section 101. As a patent agent, I have experienced a difficult challenge of preparing patent application for computer-related inventions, while keeping in mind a broad range of potential prior art and the high possibility of receiving a rejection under Section 101.<... Read more

Application of AI in Litigation Services

Attorney: Michael R. Casey, Ph.D.
August 27, 2021

As a follow up to the June 11, 2021 post entitled “Application of AI in Legal Services,” this post examines the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in an additional legal area -- eDiscovery in litigation. One of the many time-consuming tasks in litigation is the review of documents to assess whether (a) a document is relevant to any outstanding discovery request or mandatory disclosure, and, if so, (b) if the document is covered by at least one factor that would prevent its disclosure (e.g., due to attorney work product, attorney-client privilege, spousal-privilege, and/or another privilege). Furthermore, document review often is performed with an eye toward flagging certain documents as being important to an issue in the case, either as part of a defense or as part of a party’s case in chief. <... Read more

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