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

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

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

Patent Issues for Factory Automation Inventions in AI

Attorney: Sameer Gokhale
January 15, 2021

Some of the most impressive AI breakthroughs are the result of separate contributions and heavy investments made by both large and small players in the tech-world. While many inventions in AI will be directed to cutting edge products, such as the in-home virtual assistant or the self-driving car, a lot of patentable innovations are directed to products which the public will never see or use, such as innovations in Factory Automation (FA).<... Read more

Creation vs. Conception: Can an AI Machine be an Inventor?

Attorney: Kurt M. Berger, Ph.D.
October 28, 2020

Computational Creativity, a new subfield of Artificial Intelligence (AI), is the study of software that mimics human creativity. AI researchers in this field are designing software to paint pictures, write poems, and compose music. In science and engineering, some 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.... Read more