IBM today announces a demonstration project with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to test an artificial intelligence (AI) driven intellectual property (IP) analysis tool, the IBM IP Advisor with Watson® Demonstration System. Leveraging conversational AI technology with IBM Watson Assistant, and content insight mining and guided navigation solutions with IBM Watson Discovery, the system is designed to help users more efficiently uncover and analyze relevant patent data, allowing more time for strategic, value-added tasks.
Information known publicly before the actual filing date of a U.S. patent application, such as currently held and similar U.S. patents and published patent applications, is called prior art. When an inventor has an idea for a new product, a prior art study can be helpful in understanding the landscape of the field of invention by assessing not only prior art, but also competitors and opportunities for innovation in the field. However, with the continued rise in the number of patent applications being filed and the increasing volume of patent data, finding relevant, accurate information and analyzing prior art can be difficult and time consuming – especially for new inventors, 'Main Street' retailers and consumers not steeped in patent law. IBM aims to help address this challenge and promote greater participation in the innovation process with the IBM IP Advisor with Watson® Demonstration System.
By enabling natural language processing of queries with IBM Watson Discovery technology, the Demonstration System can help users locate relevant information using their own terminology, without the need to use specific terms and complex methods. And leveraging IBM Watson Assistant conversational AI technology as a guide, users can ask questions of embedded virtual agents to further inform and optimize their patent analysis.
The IBM IP Advisor with Watson® Demonstration System uses a subset of publicly obtainable U.S. patent data and is available for public testing and feedback on the USPTO's Open Data Portal through November 30, 2022.
"Prior art research and analysis is the foundation of a successful product or service launch, but the growth of prior art coupled with the need for appropriate keywords and the right patent classifications can be a barrier to entry for the every-day inventor," said Steve LaFleche, general manager, U.S. public and federal market for IBM. "I'm proud of our work with the USPTO in support of their objective to not just deploy smarter technology, but to build a better, more accessible IP system."