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

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