PatentNext Summary: Because AI is a relatively newer technology, court cases analyzing AI-related patents have been few in number. Given the increased numbers of AI patent filings, as recently reported by the USPTO, we can expect to see future court cases involving AI-related patents. We can also expect that courts will analyze these AI-related patents per the two-part Alice with the same scrutiny as we have seen for more general software-related patent cases.

Introduction

In the last quarter of 2020, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) reported that patent filings for Artificial Intelligence (AI) related inventions more than doubled from 2002 to 2018. See Office of the Chief Economist, Inventing AI: Tracking The Diffusion Of Artificial Intelligence With Patents, IP DATA HIGHLIGHTS No. 5 (Oct. 2020).

Continue Reading How the Courts treat Artificial Intelligence (AI) Patent Inventions: Through the Years since Alice

PatentNext Summary: When preparing a patent application for a software or a computer-implemented invention, a best practice includes describing, in the patent specification, how the software or computer-implemented invention improves an underlying computing device. Examples include describing how software or computer-implemented invention improves the speed or efficiency of the underlying computer device and/or reduces its processing needs or memory usage.

The below article provides additional details.

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The Importance of Describing an “Improvement” for a Software or Computer-implemented Inventions

Typically, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) scrutinizes software and computer-related inventions for “patent subject matter eligibility” under 35 U.S. Code § 101 (“Inventions patentable”). Basically, this means that the USPTO will consider whether a software-related invention directs to a patentable invention or to a mere “abstract idea” (which cannot be patented). See Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International.

Continue Reading How to Patent Software Inventions: Show an “Improvement”

PatentNext Summary: Software-related inventions are patentable. Considerations for patenting software-related inventions include:

  1. Whether the patent claims fall into one of the four categories of “inventions patentable” (e.g., “a process”); and
  2. Whether the patent claims recite (or do not recite) a judicial exception (e.g., an “abstract idea”) as described by the U.S. Supreme Court in its often cited “Alice” decision.

The below article provides additional details.

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Software increasingly empowers our everyday lives. From mobile apps implemented on phones and tablets, to “smart” thermostats that regulate household temperatures, to artificial intelligence (AI) based algorithms running on cloud computing platforms, new software-related inventions improve, automate, or change items that devices with which we interact.

But are such software innovations patentable? Yes, software-related inventions are patentable, and this article explores issues to consider when preparing software-related patents.
Continue Reading Are Software Inventions Patentable?