To patent machine learning, you will need to correctly claim and describe your invention while making sure that you comply with current laws related to this type of intellectual property.

Basics of Machine Learning

Machine learning plays an important role in much of today's technology. For example, without machine learning, effective internet searches would not be possible. The problem with machine learning, however, is that it can be hard to file patents for inventions in this growing field. It is not always immediately clear what software inventions are eligible for patent protections.

While it should be possible to protect inventions related to machine learning, correctly claiming these inventions can be very difficult and time consuming. Determining who would own the patent rights and who is the actual inventor is another problem when it comes to filing a patent application for machine learning. To strengthen a patent for machine learning, it's best to use structural claim limitations. Using this strategy will make sure that the patent can be enforced.

Machine Learning Patent Activity

Understanding how computers learn is very like understanding biological processes or even financial transactions. Machine learning is generally considered to be the clustering and classification of data to create a statistical function. In the modern world, a tremendous amount of data is generated digitally every single day.

Because data sets are not so large, machine learning is now regularly applied to handle this data and to solve problems. As you might expect, the more that machine learning is applied to solve problems, the more patents for machine learning are filed. In particular, many institutions have sought to patent machine learning for financial technology such as algorithms that are necessary for banking applications.

In banking, for example, machine learning can be used to solve a variety of problems:

  • Managing large amounts of customer data.
  • Detecting fraud more rapidly.
  • More accurately calculating credit scores.

Many patent applications for machine learning will overstep the bounds of what can actually be patented. The current popularity of machine learning patents isn't likely to slow down, as there will always be a need to handle large data sets and inventors will continue to develop new and more effective algorithms.

Machine Learning Patents and Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) can often be a subject in patents across different fields of invention, including:

  • Machine learning.
  • Natural language processing.
  • Data analytics.

AI has several different uses, including automating resources. Many companies now employ data scientists whose job is to help the company achieve its goals by applying machine learning to data. Some tech companies have decided to publicly publish their AI research.

AI plays a big part in several different types of cutting edge technology, including driverless cars, robotics, and virtual reality. One of the reasons that so many large companies are interested in AI is that it may someday have the ability to mimic the problem solving and learning ability of humans, which would allow AI to be used in important fields such as medicine.

The USPTO, EPO, and WIPO have all received numerous patents for artificial intelligence. Because of the rapid development in machine learning and AI, the patents filed in these categories are set to have a big influence on a variety of industries, including education, advertising, security, and healthcare.

Patents related to artificial intelligence or machine learning will include at least one of the following keywords:

  • Artificial intelligence.
  • Data mining.
  • Neural network.
  • Machine Learning.
  • Predictive model.
  • Statistical learning.

These keywords will either be found in the title of the invention, the description of the invention, or the claims of the patent. An interesting fact about these patents is that the keyword “neural network” is used more frequently than “machine learning.” In a patent for machine learning, one or more inventors will be specified, and there will also be a patent assignee, which is the person who owns the patent rights. For example, if you work as an inventor for a large company, the company would be the patent assignee.

Unsurprisingly, the largest tech companies in the world file the most machine learning patents. Although many of these patents were filed in the United States, it's common for the actual invention to have been created in another country.

If you need help with patent machine learning, you can post your legal needs on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.