JPO Dramatically Increases Number of Experts to Support Examination of AI-related Inventions

October 2023
Practice Area

AI experts assigned to all examination teams

The Japanese Patent Office (JPO) has increased the number of officers with expertise in AI-related patents from 10 to 40.  Accordingly, an officer with expert knowledge in AI has been dispatched to each examination team by technical field, ensuring the organization can adequately support the examination of AI-related inventions even in fields where AI technologies have not been utilized very much in the past.

Improvement of examination environment

The JPO has been committed to improving the examination environment for AI-related inventions since it organized support teams in 2021 for the examination of AI-related inventions.  These support teams have collected and shared knowledge from examinations of the latest AI-related techniques, and studied examination measures for AI-related techniques which go beyond the relevant technical fields.  In addition, such officers knowledgeable in AI who constitute the support teams aid in realizing high-quality and efficient examinations, and act as a “hub” of examinations for AI-related inventions, by gathering knowledge of each examination team, and providing advice to examiners in teams other than those in the support teams of the relevant AI-related inventions.

JPO’s Goal

With the emergence of generative AIs that are accessible to everyone, such as ChatGPT, AI is expected to be used more than ever in creation processes in a wide variety of fields.  In order to respond to the rapid increase in AI-related inventions, the number of officers specializing in AI has been dramatically increased.  The knowledge accumulated through consultations will be shared and sorted by the support teams, and a framework will be set up to release information useful for examinations of AI-related inventions.  Through these activities, the aim is to clarify the operations of patent examinations for AI-related inventions, and ensure speed and quality of examinations by referring to the examinations by examiners.

Recent trends in patent applications for AI-related inventions can be found in our previous newsletter at the following link.