The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is asking for the help of experts and the broader public to determine the impact AI will have on intellectual property and “whether new forms of intellectual property protection are needed.”
A call for public comment was published in the Federal Registrar by the USPTO today in search of answers about such issues as how AI is reshaping perceptions of inventions or whether additional information should be required to claim a deep learning system as an invention since they can have a large number of hidden layers and weights that evolve.
To help solicit responses, the notice in the federal registrar comes along with a series of questions such as “what is an AI invention and what does it contain?”
“What are the different ways that a natural person can contribute to conception of an AI invention and be eligible to be a named inventor? For example: Designing the algorithm or weighing adaptations? Structuring data in order to train a model?
“Should an entity or entities other than a natural person, or company to which a natural person assigns an invention, be able to own a patent on the AI invention?” another question reads.
Other concerns in the series of a dozen questions include whether new forms of intellectual property protections are needed for AI inventions and whether patent law should be revised to contributions to inventions from entities other than people.
“In addition to patents, in the coming months and beyond, the USPTO will examine the full spectrum of intellectual property policy issues that have arisen, or may arise, as AI technologies become more advanced,” deputy under secretary of commerce for intellectual property and deputy director of the USPTO Laura Peter said in a blog post Monday.
The publication of the list of questions and call for comments follows a USPTO conference held in January to discuss AI’s impact on intellectual property like copyrights and trademarks. Speakers represent consultancy Booz Allen, Google, Palantir Technologies, and Department of Defense’s Small Business innovation Research Program, among others.
Topics of discussion in January included how AI plays a role in counterfeit detection and intellectual property enforcement.