Title – Intellectual property tools: “cognitive evolution” after the “digital revolution”

Over the past 30 years, the IP industry has moved from paper-based filing and physical searching to automated patent drafts and AI-based searching. Intellectual property, a field governed by “creations of the mind”, has also recognized the benefits of walking alongside the IT industry. The IP industry is more exploring and experimenting with the idea of ​​new technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, big data, automation, data science, etc. and how to use them to further improve, automate and accelerate IP-related processes. .

After ‘Numerical revolution’ it’s time for ‘cognitive revolution” in the intellectual property industry. It is no surprise that with the advent of advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and automation, most industries that were previously governed by traditional structures have now undergone a complete paradigm shift. The 4th Industrial Revolution brought improvements in technological assets that enabled a high degree of automation in activities that were otherwise labor intensive.

For example, many companies are trying their hand at using AI for patent research. Companies are working on machine learning-based software that can verify novelty or can provide a first pass of prior art results for invalidation in 3-5 minutes. This shows how these tools can help eliminate the need for time-consuming manual analysis.

Many technologies are going to be used – 20% of them use deep learning, machine learning and artificial intelligence based models in their tools. However, due to the custom nature of IP workflows and various interoperability dependencies, 60% of tools are still based on legacy software technology. One solution never fits all, especially in the IP industry! There is always a need to customize IP tools for better acceptance and adoption.

Newer technologies such as Blockchain, RPA, Computer Vision, etc. also find application in IP tools. For example, Blockchain technology is used to provide record keeping, enabling intellectual property contracts and proof of ownership, which is very necessary for copyrights as well as other intellectual property rights.

It’s no surprise that there are over 300 tools (according to IP Tool Center – an online list of IP tools) serving different IP functions and one important thing to note is that most of these tools have been introduced within the last 5 years.

According to the study on the landscape of intellectual property tools (link to the white paper), IT technologies are creating a holistic impact across all IP function verticals, and there are tools for most functions within the IP industry. However, IP practices such as research, IP analysis, IP management and IP monitoring are seeing increased acceptance of technological tools.

  • Search and analysis: AI and big data have enabled search products to perform more comprehensive searches of the state of the art. The tools provide comprehensive results with access to data from multiple patent authorities. The new age tools are enabled by AI, and the underlying natural language search engine finds deeper insights into market trends, competitive intelligence, and can be used for technology exploration, layout patent landscape and white space analysis.
  • Intellectual property management: There are tools to verify and minimize the uncertainty, risk and rejection of the patent application through thorough examination of the patent (i.e. claims. Tools can identify the legal basis for the rejection and suggest any claim language, deal with underscores, brackets or strikethroughs, tags, etc. The tools use AI-powered process/task understanding for machine-guided registration systems. can extract data from emails, attachments and PTO sites and run a defined workflow for different scenarios.
  • Patent Watch: The tools use the latest advancements in AI and big data to gather substantial insights into patent litigation on the target tech space or a company to help launch the investigation. The tools also provide case filing trends with case numbers, plaintiffs, defendants, and case-related patents with links to a full-text patent view.

Although we have seen the increased implementation of technologies in IP tools, we still have a long way to go. There are also many opportunities for improvement in the current state of the tools. With increased adaptation and awareness around these tools, it is expected that they will evolve the way they work and bring more efficiency and ROI on this technology investment.

Based on our interaction with the IP community via IPTech Talks Podcast SeriesWe’ve identified a few important areas that the tool developer community needs to focus on to realize its true potential:

  • Ease of use: Conventional tools required a lot of training for users and only trained professionals were able to use them effectively. However, it is imperative that the tools are easily understood and easy to use by everyone in the industry.
  • Interoperability and Standardization: In the current scenario, tools have an island of information, and they still operate in silos, and it is very important that tools have options to interact with other tools through APIs. With IP now becoming an integral part of overall business strategy, it’s important for users to create a cohesive network of tools from across different functions, including legal, accounting, R&D, HR data, and more.
  • Customization: All the functions of IP are highly customized and there is a need for the tools to be customizable so that the processes fit into the tool and users don’t have to change the process according to the tool.
  • Security: It goes without saying that given the nature of IP documents, tools should have the latest security protocols and follow all industry compliances.
  • User Interface: Tools should have a modern, intuitive, user-friendly, and device-compatible interface for different form factors.

We remain optimistic that with current user acceptance and improvements, IP Tools will not only reduce costs, but also increase accuracy and efficiency in delivering results. Additionally, in the years to come, IP tools will change the dynamics of IP practices.

About Octavia A. Dorr

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