Humans versus robots: changes in patent drafting trends

While patent specification drafting can be laborious, it is a significant and skill-based task, and one which the IP sector should rely on professionals to complete. For example, carefully selected language is required to describe an invention and satisfy both legal and technical requirements – selecting appropriate words may be tricky when the person drafting the patent specification is an amateur. Unclear or open-ended language is likely to prompt competitors or any person concerned to invalidate or oppose the patent or patent application. Satisfying the requirements of patentability is equally vital.

These challenges have led to the introduction of artificial intelligence (AI) in the IP sector. In 2015 a debate hosted by the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys concluded that AI would be able to file and grant a patent without human intervention in the next 25 years.

AI technology clearly advances the cost-effectiveness of IP services. Used in conjunction with predictive analytics, it can automatically analyse and draft patent applications for novelty, patentability, prior basis and term consistency, among others. It can also dramatically reduce the time required to review a patent application and help to eliminate human error.

TurboPatent recently announced that its latest AI-based patent drafting software, RoboReview, was created to reduce costs for start-ups and small businesses that may be unable to afford expensive patent attorneys. Other patent drafting software on the IP market includes:

  • ClaimMaster;
  • PatentWizard;
  • Iolite’s IP Management Software;
  • PatentEase; and
  • PatentOptimizer.

Existing software incorporates service tools (eg, software as a service) that use AI and predictive analytics to analyse drafted patent applications automatically. This software is mainly web based and can be used across multiple platforms and devices.

The recent collaboration between intellectual property and AI evidences a significant increase in patent drafting efficiency. Features such as automatic patent specification reviews, which provide comments and suggest improvements to specifications, match the performance standards of an experienced patent attorney – but in a shorter time and at a lower cost.

Following the digital revolution, there has been a need for higher quality patent specifications that facilitate rapid and consistent patent prosecution and reduce litigation risk. However, humans can never be totally replaced by artificial intelligence – a careful balance should be struck that empowers and enhances human ability.

This is an Insight article, written by a selected partner as part of IAM's co-published content. Read more on Insight

Unlock unlimited access to all IAM content