Intellectual Property Law · Licensing · Technology Innovation

More people want AI patents, making their prosecution harder

| May 20, 2021 | Patents |

Technology constantly changes, forcing innovation as research continues to push the boundaries of what is possible. Artificial intelligence (AI) is one of the most exciting and possibly lucrative areas of modern technology development. Training computers to process and analyze data and complete independent actions requires extensive programming knowledge and, often, also hardware development to compliments the programming.

If your company has invested in the development of AI software or technology that utilizes AI programming, patenting your unique software, systems or approach helps protect your investment. Without a patent, the unique discoveries and advancements made by your company or researchers would be accessible to anyone.

A patent helps ensure that your company can recoup research and technology development expenses. Those considering such patents are certainly not alone.

There has been a massive boom in AI patent filings

Once considered a fantasy, AI has become a modern reality. Hundreds of businesses hope to cash in on the opportunities generated by AI technology and software. Demand for AI has extended to many major industries, making breakthroughs in AI possibly lucrative.

According to information released by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the number of AI-related patent applications went up from an already impressive 30,000 in 2002 to over 60,000 in 2018. AI played a role in far more patents overall than in the past as well. AI was part of just 9% of technology patents in 1976 but was part of more than 42% of the 2018 technology patent requests.

What do more AI patents mean for your company?

There are multiple implications of the surge in AI patent requests for businesses hoping to secure a patent.

First of all, a lot more research will be required to ensure that the software, hardware or other technological advancements aren’t already patented by another company. It is an acknowledged phenomenon that similar research and technological breakthroughs can occur simultaneously and independently at different facilities and companies.

Additionally, more AI filings mean that you may have to prosecute your patent to demonstrate its viability or establish that it does not fall under the purview of an existing patent. Successfully securing a patent can protect your investment and set your company up for future success in this cutting-edge field.