USPTO issues guidance concerning the use of AI tools by parties and practitioners

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has released guidance in the Federal Register to address the complexities of utilizing artificial intelligence (AI) in patent and trademark matters. This guidance aims to inform practitioners and the public about the key issues and risks associated with AI systems, while also providing suggestions to mitigate these risks.

It aligns with the Biden Administration’s Executive Order on Artificial Intelligence and complements previous efforts by the USPTO to address AI considerations in innovation and intellectual property.
The guidance emphasizes the importance of responsible use and thoughtful policy in the rapidly evolving landscape of AI.
It underscores the existing protections and rules within the USPTO that are designed to safeguard against AI-related harms, regardless of how a submission is generated. Kathi Vidal, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO, emphasized that the requirements in existing USPTO rules are intended to uphold the integrity of proceedings and prevent unnecessary delays and costs. 

This initiative is part of the USPTO’s broader efforts to shape policies around AI, including the AI/Emerging Technologies Partnership and the Inventorship Guidance on AI-Assisted Inventions. The guidance also builds upon the February 6, 2024, guidance on “The Applicability of Existing Regulations as to Party and Practitioner Misconduct Related to the Use of Artificial Intelligence.” By addressing these critical issues, the USPTO aims to support innovators, entrepreneurs, and patent and trademark professionals in navigating the complexities of AI in matters before the office. 

The full text of the guidance is available in the Federal Register and on the USPTO’s Artificial Intelligence webpage. This comprehensive resource serves as an essential tool for individuals involved in proceedings before the USPTO, providing valuable insights into the risks and considerations associated with AI systems and offering practical suggestions to manage these risks effectively.

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