USPTO considers using AI for prior art searches

USPTO seeks to employ AI to enhance patent searches due to the challenge of identifying relevant prior art amid technological growth.

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The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is considering using AI to enhance ‘prior art’ searches conducted during the patent examination process. Essentially, the ‘prior art’ searches gather public information to determine whether an invention is novel, constituting an essential aspect of the USPTO’s objective to grant reliable patent rights. USPTO emphasized that the exponential growth of ‘prior art’ and the rapid pace of technological innovation have made it difficult to identify the most relevant ‘prior art’. As such, the USPTO aims to use AI and machine learning to enhance patent search systems. Their goal is to improve the way search results are displayed, ensuring that important ‘prior art’ that might not have been easily visible to examiners is brought to their attention by ranking and organizing the results effectively.

Why does it matter?

This move reflects the broader interest in incorporating AI into various industries, as demonstrated by the popularity of AI tools such as ChatGPT. It is considered that the USPTO’s exploration of AI aligns with the federal government’s efforts to establish guidelines for AI. The agency has already been developing and implementing AI-based patent searches, as well as a roadmap for future development.