Posts in Inventors Information

USPTO AI Guidance Reiterates DABUS Decision

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today released guidance for determining inventorship of artificial intelligence (AI)-assisted inventions. As the Office has previously stated, the guidance clarifies that “while AI-assisted inventions are not categorically unpatentable, the inventorship analysis should focus on human contributions, as patents function to incentivize and reward human ingenuity.” The USPTO issued a call for comments on AI inventorship in February 2023. That Federal Register Notice (FRN) asked the public to respond to 11 questions, including “how does the use of an AI system [in the invention process]…differ from the use of other technical tools”; whether AI inventions may be patentable under current patent laws on joint inventorship by, for example, simply listing the natural person involved in inventions created by AI machines; and whether statutory or regulatory changes should be made to better address AI contributions to inventions.

Strategies for Using the Hague System

The number of design applications filed through the Hague System for the International Registration of Industrial Designs continues to grow, with an 18.8% increase in annual filings reported in 2022. The Hague system, which covers 96 countries, offers numerous advantages for applicants and presents some interesting strategic options for filing in the United States as well.

The UK Supreme Court DABUS Decision: The End or Just a Bump in the Road for AI Inventors?

As reported on IPWatchdog, the UK Supreme court recently ruled that a trained neural network (an Artificial Intelligence known as DABUS) could not be listed as the inventor on two patent applications filed by Dr. Stephen Thaler at the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO). As a result, the two applications were treated as withdrawn for failing to comply with the requirements of the UK Patents Act 1977. This not a surprising decision for reasons that will be set out below, and it is consistent both with the earlier UK court decisions, and with the decisions of other jurisdictions around the world where Dr. Thaler has argued his case. The decision has, however, sparked interest in the questions of artificial intelligence and its ability both to “autonomously” devise inventions and to subsequently own them.

Can AI Prompts Be Patented? Don’t Be Too Quick to Dismiss this Question

Recent debates about AI patentability have focused on whether the outputs of an AI system, such as a neural network, can be patented. Such debates have been spurred not only by recent general advances in the power of AI but also by Dr. Stephen Thaler’s “Artificial Inventor” project’s attempts to obtain patents on devices generated using his neural network-based DABUS software. If you thought that whether an AI-generated output can be patented is a cutting-edge question, then consider whether an input to an AI system, such as a prompt to a large language model (LLM), can be patented.

The Top 10 Patents of 2023: Energy Harvesting Roadways, Deep AI Infrastructure and Controllable CRISPR Editing

The patents granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) tell the story of society’s innovative future. While the true value of a technological advance develops over time, the following selection of patents of 2023 represent meaningful advances in several emerging areas of technology. From artificial intelligence (AI) systems for retail checkout to improved mRNA drug delivery, these innovations have been chosen for their likeliness to make a significant real-world impact in 2024 and beyond.

UK Supreme Court Dismisses DABUS as Inventor

Unsurprisingly, the UK Supreme Court today ruled that Stephen Thaler’s AI Machine, DABUS, cannot be granted patents for inventions it autonomously created. While the Court suggested that questions such as whether inventions like DABUS’ should be patentable and if the meaning of the term “inventor” should be expanded are important ones that should be considered at a policy level, the present case was concerned solely with the interpretation of the present law, which clearly does not contemplate non-human inventors.  

CSIS Panel Highlights Divide on PREVAIL Act Provisions

An event held Monday by the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS), and moderated by former U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Director Andrei Iancu, featured a number of high-profile political and professional figures in the intellectual property space debating approaches to strengthening the U.S. patent system, with an emphasis on national security. Representative Deborah Ross (D-NC), who serves on the U.S. House of Representatives’ Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet, first joined Iancu to discuss her reasons for supporting the Promoting and Respecting Economically Vital American Innovation Leadership (PREVAIL) Act.

AI is Not Creative Per the USCO and the Courts – And That’s a Good Thing

Recently, Wen Xie argued on IPWatchdog that the U.S. Copyright Office (USCO) and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) have reached different conclusions regarding “the creative and conceiving capabilities of machines,” which leads to intellectual property (IP) law being self-contradictory. According to Xie, the USCO presumes that artificial intelligence (AI) is creative, while the USPTO does not reach a similar conclusion regarding AI inventorship. I disagree.

Report Shows Downward Patent Filing Trend for World’s Most Innovative Companies

On November 16, innovation intelligence firm Patsnap published the results of its 2023 Global Innovation Report, which measures a range of patent metrics to determine the most innovative companies in the world. This year’s Global Innovation 100 listing represents about a quarter of the globe’s entire patent filing activity. The report also includes a Global Disruption 50 listing of actively growing and young companies, reflecting the strength of both the United States and China in emerging technology fields.

Build a Consumer Base with Innovation; Protect Sales with Design Patents

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued its one millionth design patent on September 26, 2023. U.S. Patent No. D1,000,000 claims the ornamental design for a dispensing comb. This milestone comes during a particularly prolific period for design patents. In 2022 alone, the USPTO received more than 50,000 design patent applications. The Office has seen a 20% growth in design patent applications over the last five years. It is not hard to understand why inventors are seeking design patent protection at previously unseen levels. In an age of complicated technologies, design patents can protect marketable appearances of products in the same manner generally as trademarks identify source. Understanding design patent benefits underlying the recent growth in application numbers is a good lesson for businesses seeking to distinguish a brand—but keep an eye out for further developments and be prepared to adjust business and IP strategies.

Google Escapes $20 Million Judgment as SCOTUS Denies Petition on CAFC Reissue Standard

Just a few weeks after Google waived its right to respond, the Supreme Court denied a petition challenging a U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) decision that held a Texas district court erred in ruling against the search engine and tech behemoth. The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas found the inventors of a method for protecting computers from malware—Alfonso Cioffi and Allen Rozman (the patent is now assigned to Melanie, Megan and Morgan Rozman)—had proven that Google’s Chrome web browser infringed their reissue patents RE43,500, RE43,528, and RE43,529 and that the claims were not invalid. After a first time at the Federal Circuit in which the case was remanded to the district court, a jury awarded Cioffi, et. al. $20 million in past damages and the district court in post-trial review rejected Google’s “original patent defense.”

The USPTO and the USCO Must Resolve Their Disparate Approaches to AI Inventorship and Copyrightability

The President’s recent Executive Order on the Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Development and Use of Artificial Intelligence instructs the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Director and Copyright Registrar to collaboratively issue recommendations to the President on further actions for advancing AI innovation through intellectual property, particularly with respect to AI inventorship and AI authorship. But the two offices currently regard AI differently in terms of assessing the creative and conceiving capabilities of machines, which poses a potential contradiction in how intellectual property law treats AI.

The Goose, The Golden Eggs, and AI: An Executive’s Guide to Choosing When—and When Not—to Patent

In today’s high-tech landscape, the ancient fable of the goose that laid the golden eggs imparts profound wisdom. The farmer in that tale weighed the decision to continue accumulating wealth slowly by selling the golden eggs that his magical goose laid (one per day) or taking a risk by killing the goose to harvest all of the gold within it at once. (Ultimately, the farmer chose the murderous path only to discover the goose did not contain any riches.) Just as the farmer faced thorny decisions in the tale, modern tech executives grapple with complex choices between immediate returns and long-term potential while also maintaining a competitive edge. In the real world, an artificial intelligence (AI) system that can generate patentable outputs (such as designs for new drugs) stands as the metaphorical “goose” while the inventions it produces are analogous to the “golden eggs.” Steadfastly guiding this delicate dance is the patent attorney with expertise in AI technology.

Senate IP Subcommittee Mulls PREVAIL Act Proposals for PTAB Reform

The Senate Subcommittee on Intellectual Property held a hearing today featuring witnesses who weighed in on the Promoting and Respecting Economically Vital American Innovation Leadership (PREVAIL) Act, which was introduced in June by Senators Chris Coons (D-DE), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mazie Hirono (D-HI). Today’s was the sixth hearing of the IP Subcommittee this year. The goal of the PREVAIL Act is to reform the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) in a number of ways.

SCOTUS Declines to Consider Joint Inventorship Petition

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday denied certiorari to HIP, Inc. in a case that asked the Court to review the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit’s (CAFC’s) standard for determining joint inventorship. The petition, filed in August, asked the Court to resolve what it called “an indisputable conflict between the express language of Section 116(a) of Title 35, informed by the legislative history of its 1984 amendments, and requirements the Federal Circuit has imposed on the joint inventions statute since the 1984 amendments.”