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Ten Thousand AI Systems Typing on Keyboards: Generative AI in Patent Applications and Preemptive Prior Art

Posted by on Tuesday, May 7, 2024 in Articles, Issue 3, Volume 26.

John Villasenor | 26 Vand. J. Ent. & Tech. L. 375 (2024)

Generative AI makes it possible to create unlimited amounts of text at essentially zero cost. While this technology has many benefits, it can also be used in ways that undermine the goals of the patent system. This Article identifies policy solutions to address the potentially antiinnovative application of generative AI in several patent-related contexts. First, it examines the use of AI to publish massive online databases of preemptive prior art intended to foreclose patentability. This Article argues that computer-generated invention descriptions published without any substantive nexus to human understanding of their contents should not count as “printed publications” under US patent law. In addition, this Article considers the use of AI to automate the process of writing and filing enormous numbers of patent applications. It also explores the associated market incentives as well as the potential role of regulatory measures and market forces to provide a corrective effect.

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