GUIDANCE ON AI-AIDED INVENTIONS: To incentivize, protect, and encourage investment in innovations made possible via artificial intelligence (AI), and to provide clarity to the public and USPTO employees on the patentability of AI-assisted inventions, the USPTO has published guidance in the Federal Register.

The guidance makes clear that AI-assisted inventions are not categorically unpatentable. It provides instructions to examiners and stakeholders on how to determine whether the human contribution to an innovation is significant enough to qualify for a patent when AI contributed.

Examples of hypothetical situations of how the guidance would apply are on the USPTO’s AI-related resources webpage. For more information, attend the USPTO’s public webinar on March 5 from 1 to 2 p.m. ET.

WOMEN’S ROLE IN AI GROWING: The USPTO’s Office of the Chief Economist (OCE) shared a new article that shows women’s participation in patenting—both in AI and other technologies—is growing and associated with more diverse teams and patents with higher economic value.

The article was published in the journal Nature Biotechnology and is titled, “Discovering value: Women’s participation in university and commercial artificial intelligence (AI) invention.” It uses the AI Patent Dataset and information on inventors’ genders available via PatentsView to study women’s participation in the AI innovation ecosystem.

Given the incredible reach of AI across technologies and organizations, diversifying the AI innovation ecosystem could produce substantial economic gains.

PATENT PRO BONO GROWTH: A USPTO report recently released to Congress found that patent pro bono programs are successfully expanding access to the patent system to financially underresourced independent inventors and small businesses, with more than $39.3 million donated by volunteer patent attorneys and non-attorney advocates (patent agents) from 2015 to 2022.

The report was required by the Unleashing American Innovators Act of 2022 (the Act or UAIA), assessing the health and functionality of the patent pro bono programs. Under the direction of USPTO Director Kathi Vidal, the USPTO nearly doubled the budget for the programs in 2023 from $680,000 to approximately $1.2 million.

View the full report at