A Perspective on Artificial Intelligence Patent Applications
The topic of artificial intelligence (AI) is practically inescapable these days. AI broadly refers to technologies and systems comprised of software or hardware that perform tasks and iteratively improve themselves based on the information they collect. Regardless of the industry, the odds are good that there is at least one relevant AI-driven offering product to businesses or consumers. Common interactions with AI innovations include chatbots that interact with customers to provide answers and solve their problems, as well as AI applications that help to extract critical information from large datasets. As with most emerging technologies, artificial intelligence patent applications have increased substantially.
According to the USPTO’s 2020 publication, Inventing AI: Tracing the diffusion of artificial intelligence with U.S. patents, patents containing AI now appear in roughly 45 percent of all 600 technology subclasses used by the USPTO. The distribution of artificial intelligence across many USPTO subclasses means that AI patent applications have been assigned to many different USPTO art units, making it challenging to evaluate AI patent examiner statistics, generally. However, one thing is clear—the art unit to which an AI patent application is assigned can significantly impact whether a patent will be granted.
Why Art Unit Assignments Matter in Artificial Intelligence Patent Applications
The LexisNexis PatentAdvisor® patent analytics platform allows users to determine the relative difficulty of individual USPTO examiners and use patent data to assess USPTO art units. Examiners can be evaluated using the proprietary PatentAdvisor ETA™ metric, which accounts for each patent examiner’s allowance rate, decision trends, experience level, and more. PatentAdvisor ETA values are used to place USPTO patent examiners into three different categories—”green,” “yellow,” or “red”—which indicate whether examiners are easy, moderate, or difficult to face in patent prosecution. PatentAdvisor users can also explore the examiner category compositions of USPTO art units to determine which art units are the most, or least, favorable.
Explore how to Use Patent Data to Understand USPTO Examiners.
Technology Centers for Artificial Intelligence Patent Applications
When looking at artificial intelligence patent applications, many wind up being assigned to patent examiners in Technology Center 2120 (Art Units 2120-2129), which focuses on patents directed at “AI and Simulation/Modeling.” Differences in examiner compositions among these art units show the impact that being assigned to one art unit or another can have on the chances of success for artificial intelligence patent applications.
For example, Art Unit 2121 currently contains zero “green” examiners. Patent applications assigned to Art Unit 2121 have a 43 percent chance of being assigned to a difficult examiner and a 57 percent chance of being assigned to a moderate examiner.
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