Bloomberg: “As companies from IBM to Samsung Electronics Co. to Halliburton Co. scramble to find the next great invention using artificial intelligence, they may hit a roadblock when trying to patent their ideas. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is making it increasingly difficult to obtain legal protections for inventions related to AI, a field that encompasses autonomous cars, virtual assistants and financial analyses, among countless other uses. The agency, seeing an influx of AI applications, is grappling with how to comply with a law that PTO Director Andrei Iancu has called “anything but clear” concerning what can be patented.
“The U.S. right now is a strong leader in artificial intelligence,” said Kate Gaudry, a patent attorney with Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton in Washington who analyzed data from LexisNexis PatentAdvisor on pending applications at the agency. She found that, of applications given a primary classification of AI-related, about 90 percent got initial rejection letters saying they were abstract ideas. “People are going to catch on that they are unlikely to get a patent,” she said…”