Posted on Tuesday 7 May 2019 by Cruickshank Intellectual Property

The emergence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a topical subject and one which is now part of our everyday lives. The possibilities offered by AI technology are immeasurable, but with this also come challenges, in particular with Intellectual Property (IP) rights. In a new series entitled ‘Tech Trends’, the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) have released a report which examines the trends of AI over the last number of years and how the intellectual property landscape can learn and adjust to the constant evolution of AI.

Some key findings

  • According to the study there has been a surge in AI based inventions in recent years. Since the emergence of AI around the 1950’s, nearly 340,000 patent applications have been filed for AI related inventions.
  • Of the top 30 patent applicants in an AI related field, 26 of these were companies, with Universities and public research organisations making up the remaining four. Of those companies, IBM hold the largest patent portfolio in this area, closely followed by Microsoft.
  • Companies from Japan, The USA and China dominate this top list of applicants.
  • Transportation was the top industry for AI applicants and represented 15% of all- related AI patents, while the telecommunications industry experienced an annual 23% increase between 2013 and 2016 in AI related patent filings.

You can find this report here if you would like to know more.

AI revolutionising our way of life

In previous articles we have seen how AI is driving developments in both technology and business, its rapid growth has revolutionised many aspects of our lives from how we work, travel and communicate. This study conducted by WIPO, aims to highlight the trends in AI Technology and allow us to see what industries and companies are paving the way in this innovative landscape. Only last year the European Patents Office (EPO) held its first ever conference regarding AI to explore the opportunities and challenges of patenting in the field of AI. This conference was an opportunity to the discuss the way forward to better benefit and equip patent holders in the field of AI. These efforts from both the EPO and WIPO demonstrate the need to provide a suitable framework for patent holders in the field of these evolving technologies.

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