Rise of Artificial Intelligence Expected to Boost Patent Enforcement
According to a recent article in the Virginia Law Review by professor Janet Freilich, patents are about to become more enforceable with the rise of artificial intelligence (AI). Freilich argues that AI has the potential to make patents more salient by sorting through the vast number of patents and identifying those that are more relevant.
Currently, there are millions of active patents in the United States, covering everything from everyday activities like using Wi-Fi to playing on a swing. It is almost impossible to go through a day without unwittingly infringing on a patent. However, due to the high costs and difficulties associated with enforcing patent rights, most patent infringements go unnoticed and unchallenged.
But with advancements in AI technology, patent enforcement could be revolutionized. By utilizing AI, it becomes easier to identify patent infringements and take appropriate action. For example, through online platforms like Amazon, it is now possible to search for products that may potentially infringe on a patent.
The use of AI could also benefit professionals like Freilich, who often have to read numerous patents. Reading patents is a tedious task, as they are lengthy and written in complex legal jargon. However, AI can sift through millions of patents more efficiently, extracting relevant information and making the process much easier.
Despite the potential benefits, Freilich acknowledges that the patent system has its flaws. Many patents are granted erroneously, such as the patent that covered a stick found on the ground, which was eventually invalidated. Challenging a patent’s validity can be costly, and enforcing patent rights can be burdensome and impractical in certain situations.
Nevertheless, the rise of AI offers hope for improving the patent system. It has the potential to make patent enforcement more efficient and reduce the number of mistakenly granted patents. Additionally, it may provide small inventors with greater opportunities to receive licensing fees for their inventions.
The effectiveness of the patent system varies depending on the industry and the companies involved. While it may work well in certain circumstances, there are still significant areas where improvement is needed.
In conclusion, AI technology has the potential to revolutionize patent enforcement by making the process more efficient and identifying patent infringements more effectively. However, the patent system still has its shortcomings, and reform is necessary to ensure it functions optimally in all areas. As AI continues to advance, it will be interesting to see how it shapes the future of patent enforcement and innovation.