Japan to use AI in patent screening

The technology will help to automate “cumbersome” tasks such as literature reviews.

The Japan Patent Office is planning on using artificial intelligence in the processing of patents, it was reported. AI will help to automate “cumbersome” tasks in patent, trademark and design applications, such as literature reviews. The office hopes to begin using this technology to automate 20 tasks by 2018, according to a Nikkei Asian Review report. In this context, AI will be able to search through lots of files and documents to check if a piece of technology or intellectual property has already been patented. It will also be able to classify patents by field, according to the report. Furthermore, image recognition technology will be able to verify trademark applications against previously registered images and logos. This is not the office’s first foray into AI: since last December, it has been using an AI system to answer queries about patents, the report said. The performance of this technology proved that it increased operational efficiency and helped to “curb long working hours”. Testing of this new AI system will begin this summer, starting with six of the 20 tasks, and will continue in stages for the remaining 14 in the next fiscal year, according to the report.