The Industrial Strategy Regulators' Pioneer Fund has recently awarded 15 public sector organisations funding to research artificial intelligence technologies that may have a practical application to their sectors. The UK Intellectual Property Office is one such organisation and will apply the funding to researching whether AI can assist in the filing process of patents, trademarks and registered designs in the UK.
Tim Moss, the CEO of the UKIPO was rightly pleased with the award, and pointed to this award as an acknowledgment from central Government that intellectual property really does matter. Rights-holders will hope that this is the first step in having IP rights be considered more widely in business policy.
Though it is known that the research will be in to AI's application to the filing process, exactly how it will be implemented and what the end-goal is is so far not clear. However, the possibilities are almost endless. We could see machine-learning developed to assess line drawings, or a pictorial search of figurative trademarks on the register (opposed to the current word-based search).
It is also possible that AI will be able to evaluate the scope of patent claims, by construing the literal meaning of the claims and constructing them in to a 'working' 3D model to create a graphic representation of scope.
We do not expect any of these quite radical changes to happen any time soon, though with the application of funding to the already booming AI sector, the future is getting ever nearer.
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