Artificial intelligence (AI) has become one of the most disruptive technologies of our era. For many technology companies and startups, AI constitutes the core of their prized products, from autonomous vehicles to pick-and-place robots to voice assistants. With the rapid development of AI comes a unique set of challenges to protect it via the patent system in the United States. Fortunately, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is working diligently to provide guidelines for patent practitioners to make the path to patentability less uncertain. On August 27, the USPTO published a Notice in the Federal Register requesting information from the public on AI patent-related issues, including feedback on questions pertaining to the intersection of AI and patent law.
The AI academic and industrial community is likely to have many unique perspectives on these and other questions as the application of AI spans numerous technology sectors. Input from all technology sectors, as well as the patent practitioners representing these sectors, is certain to aid the USPTO in developing guidance that will provide a more predictable path to navigate patenting of AI technologies.