September 17, 2018

Protecting AI-Based Inventions Despite Recent Legal Hurdles

The next wave in technological advancement

Artificial intelligence (AI) is redefining the next technological age. It’s estimated that 38 percent of all businesses are implementing AI in some form, and that adoption rate is expected to increase to 62 percent in 2018. Plus, global revenue from AI-based systems is forecasted to grow from nearly $8 billion in 2016 to more than $47 billion in 2020.

Interest in protecting these inventions is skyrocketing as well. From 2012 to 2017, the USPTO saw a 500-percent increase in the number of patents issuing to class 706 — a classification exclusively designated for AI. But how do you ensure this emerging technology is protected properly?

Overcoming legal hurdles with tailored, detailed patents

Despite recent hurdles put in place by the Supreme Court’s decision in Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank Int’l, AI-based inventions can be protected if you have a knowledgeable, experienced IP legal team focused on this developing market.

At Patterson + Sheridan, we protect AI-based technology by drafting strong patents tailored for these unique inventions. For example, new applications should specifically address the technical problem and technical solution. This is critical to overcome the “significantly more” hurdle in Alice.

Also, when describing the invention in the application, it is crucial to be means-oriented, not only ends-oriented. We avoid the “black box” logic of “input data, processing data, output data,” and instead, provide practical implementation details, such as specifics of the model design. It’s also important to include claim elements that recite specific uses of resulting data, not just the generation of the data.

The right patent attorney makes all the difference

Some are already referring to AI as the “Fourth Industrial Revolution.” This is a pivotal time for software and technology companies who are pioneering in this space — safeguarding those inventions is crucial. Like the revolutionaries who have come before, the leading innovators of this coming revolution should continue to pursue protection of their AI-based intellectual property.

The IP lawyers at Patterson + Sheridan understand the unique challenges of protecting AI technology, and clients appreciate our relentless, hands-on approach. For more of our detailed insights into this topic, read “Smart Strategies for Protecting AI-Based Inventions.”

Related Team:

B. Todd Patterson

Practice Head, Managing Partner