Will Blockchain and AI revolutionize Patent Analysis in India?
Indian Patent office is working on using Blockchain, AI and IoT to make the patent process smoother. Will it be the right time to do so?
Blockchain and AI are the buzzwords off late, the former quickly rose to the limelight due to the Bitcoin saga and the latter is finding its way into people’s life as we speak – be it through smartphone cameras or while browsing the Internet.
Simply speaking – blockchain is an indestructible ledger associated with an asset, that builds over time and remains with the asset.
This opens up a variety of applications – tracking the ownership, checking for any sale and transaction of the asset, tracking whether an asset was illegally sold etc. With so many industries experimenting with the blockchain technology to make it work for them – Patent industry is no different.
Some notable early starters who seem to have started service offerings in this area are – an Estonian company, Agrello, is trying to implement blockchain in creating smarter contracts. Another company, Binded is trying to leverage blockchain to serve as a proof of copyright. Another player, Bernstein is trying to leverage blockchain for management of Intellectual Property such as patents.
In addition to blockchain, the other upcoming technology – the AI, is also quickly percolating in the field of Intellectual Property and patents. Some early adopters were the companies that provide searchable databases for patents across the globe – for example, an Australian player Ambercite, uses AI engine to search for patents, that allegedly throws little or no noise, making the overall process of searching and analyzing patents very efficient.
Not only the commercial players, the Patent offices across the globe are also leveraging the technologies to unlock potential benefits. For example, The US patent office implemented AI engine to suggest patent classes that should be searched to make the process more efficient. The European Patent Office implemented a tool that is able to translate patents published in 32 languages into English.
The Indian patent office seems to be no exception – there was tender announced by IPO, “Expression of Interest for Making use of Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, IoT and other latest technologies in Patent Processing system of IPO”.
In this tender, the IPO has expressed interest in leveraging technologies, including Blockchain, AI and IoT (Internet of Things) to make the patent process smoother. When the envisioned system is ready it will enable a Blockchain-AI based ecosystem for managing IP protection in India, which will be much more efficient, smooth and faster.
But this is all but a beginning and the road to be traveled is very long – the fundamental principle of an AI powered system is one in which a “training set” and an “expected output set” is provided to every AI engine for it to calibrate itself – thereafter, the AI based engine can thus operate on another dataset, in real time, to produce the same desired output.
All this sounds good for a highly structured data, but the patents are very unique – they are tehnno-legal documents that can be very diverse, even though they relate to same technical domain.
The question is, would we need an AI-backed engine for every class of technology? If yes, what is the level at which we need to define technology – Is “automobile” a suitable level technology for AI or one needs an AI engine for each component of an automobile such as Engine etc.
Also, with fast moving technologies such as Electronics and Computer Science – the terminology included in patents also changes pretty quickly – how frequently such AI engines needs to be recalibrated?
All in all, we can safely say that both AI and blockchain are in very early stages – and though not without potential, it will be some time before we see the full extent of the benefits it can extend to the patent sector.