Is the Managing Director at and co-founder of IP EDGE LLC. He has more than 12 years experience in all aspects of patent management and monetization, including strategic prosecution, litigation, licensing, brokering, and portfolio management within various technological fields such as ecommerce, consumer electronics, networking, financial services, mobile communications, and automotive technologies. Mr. Bodepudi also created a patent monetization blog, InvestInIP.com, where he writes on patent reform and policy
In response to articles on implementing AI into our patent system, and specifically to the suggestion that we should consider developing AI to replace some aspects of human decision making in the patent space, we have received a number of comments and even objections to the idea. A common objection: it is likely impossible and impractical for us to advance AI to the point where it can make reliable subjective decisions (e.g., infringement and obviousness), let alone reliably replace human decision making. At the outset, we challenge the presumption of this argument.
In response to our recent article on artificial intelligence (AI) reducing transactional costs to help determine infringement and invalidity determinations, a commenter made an interesting counterpoint, paraphrased as the following: AI provides useful tools that should be used as an aid to human thinkers, not as a replacement to human thinking. Moreover, when it comes to AI making subjective determinations, such as obviousness or novelty, we should be skeptical of relying on AI, either legally or practically. We appreciate the counterpoint and we wanted to address it in this follow-up article.
The United States has a clear need for patent reform, but does our legislature understand how to implement that reform? For decades, a shortcoming to our approach to patent reform has been misidentifying the problem as “patent trolls” (more generally, bad actors). Based on a misidentified problem, we have implemented a decades-long policy to systematically weaken patent rights, in an attempt to deter this archetypal bad actor. If we instead use economic principles to address patent reform, we would understand the root problem to our patent system—exorbitantly bloated transactional costs.
In Part I of this article, we discussed the underpinnings of U.S. patent policy today: the fundamental assumption that our patent problems stem from a bad actor (patent troll) that takes advantage of the system. Based on this ideological premise, Congress and the Judiciary have structured patent policy to prevent this bad actor from taking advantage of the system, i.e., increasing enforcement hurdles to deter the bad actor. Rather than helping, this policy has led to the systemic weakening of U.S. patent rights over the past decade+ – so much so that it has undermined the United States as a viable jurisdiction to enforce patent rights. Here in Part II, we’ll discuss how the ideology of the bad actor came to be, how a rational actor model provides a more realistic framework, and how we can use economic underpinnings of a rational actor to create an economically rooted patent policy.