AI is Now Mainstream for Patent Analysis
AAIArtificial intelligence (AI) is now mainstream for patent analysis. For years, many people in the legal community have been trying to understand the implications to their practice of fast-approaching AI applications. Opinions have ranged from those postulating that the legal profession is too nuanced to ever be significantly altered by AI to those predicting the complete demise of the legal profession as a career path. (And, yes, there are afflicted individuals anxiously watching and hoping for the latter.) Most industry observers, however, have pragmatically assumed the truth will eventually fall somewhere in the middle. However, many of them have been watching and waiting, as if a gavel will be pounded, and a verdict will be put forth with a determination of how AI will impact the legal profession. Many are going about their business unchanged, anticipating a future day when AI may alter their landscape.
The Future is Now
Revolutionary change is rarely sudden. It just seems that way to those not paying attention to the everyday changes that are occurring. The same is true with AI in the legal profession. And it is certainly true when it comes to patent law. Improvements in patent analysis demonstrates this effectively. Many of us have been using AI-based tools in our practices for years.
Effective Searching with AI
Search tools have incorporated, and subsequently improved, the utilization of AI. Simply inputting a patent number can yield a plethora of related and potentially invalidating patents that AI routines can continue to hone and cull. This can provide valuable assistance for jump-starting efforts for supporting patent litigation activity. Additionally, natural language capabilities have been refined. Therefore, it is now possible to reasonably search patents without extensive and complex utilization of Boolean logic. This can provide a starting foundation for patent prosecution and portfolio management activities.
Improved Analysis with AI
AI has already significantly enriched the analysis of patents. AI greatly enhances patent landscaping and portfolio analysis by augmenting the human assessment that is required. The technical context and adjacent IP for any given patent can be quickly determined and graphically presented. Comparisons between patents and portfolios can be readily identified. Yes, it is not just the locating of prior art that is enabled by AI, but also the analysis of that art.
Evidence of AI Becoming Mainstream
The mainstream nature of AI is demonstrated in a recent Google Cloud blog article. In the article, Google announces the publication of a white paper that outlines a methodology to train an AI model “on over 100 million patent publications from the U.S. and other countries using open-source tooling. The paper describes how to use the trained model for a number of use cases, including how to more effectively perform prior art searching to determine the novelty of a patent application, automatically generate classification codes to assist with patent categorization, and autocomplete. The white paper is accompanied by a colab notebook as well the trained model hosted in GitHub.” To me, this free distribution of open source capabilities, specifically targeted at patent applications, further establishes that AI is here now and taking root quickly.
We believe that all legal professionals should resist waiting for some magical moment to occur that signals how AI will impact their world. AI is now mainstream for patent analysis. Embrace it. Jump into the pond. The change will seem evolutionary, rather than revolutionary, if you are in the middle of it as it occurs. Like with most tools, you get more work done with AI – at a higher quality – in a given amount of time. Combining the efficiency of AI with the nuanced interpretation of a seasoned professional dramatically improves the quality of the end-product.
As noted, at Global Patent Solutions we have been using AI for years. We do not see AI as a mechanism for replacing the work of our talented patent analysts. Rather, we have seized upon the technology to augment their efforts, enabling them to spend their time more effectively to enrich the quality of our output. Contact us to learn more about our solutions, and how we put AI to work for our clients.