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Patents and AI: Competition Grows as Businesses Stake Ground in AI Research

By Dick Weisinger

Artificial Intelligence is impacting every industry, and the number of AI-related patents is rapidly increasing accordingly. A report focusing on the growth of the number of patents awarded by the US Patent Office found that the number of AI-related patents filed between 2002 and 2018 nearly doubled, from 30,000 to 60,000.

Andrei Iancu, former Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO, said that “Artificial intelligence is becoming ingrained in the daily life of Americans, facilitated by its rapid integration into products such as voice recognition systems in mobile phones, robotic appliances, satellites, search engines, and so much more. AI has the potential to vastly broaden the inventor community in the United States. We have entered a new era of invention, entrepreneurship, and technological development.”

A report from Mewburn-Ellis shows the extent that AI is affecting not only traditional computational-intensive areas, but is also being applied in life science use cases, especially in the area of health care. The study reports large increases in the use of AI for digital health, computer-assisted diagnosis, and remote therapy delivery.

Camille Terfve, senior associate at Mewburn Ellis, said that “people are practicing in this field more and more. This type of innovation can no longer be ignored, so companies do need to worry about protecting innovations in this space and do need to do freedom to operate analyses. If you have competitors working in a similar space, it can also be useful to have patents that can be problematic to them, if only to protect yourself from patents that they might have that could be problematic to you.”

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