Digitalised Invention, Decentralised Patent System: The Impact of Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence on the Patent Prosecution
Artificial Intelligence and Intellectual Property, 2020
30 Pages Posted: 1 Jun 2020
Date Written: March 1, 2020
Throughout the history of patent law, the manner of representation of invention influenced the process of the patent office in prosecuting them. This chapter traces how changes in the representation of the invention — from material to textual to digital — transformed patent prosecution. Early inventions were represented by working models, the materialised invention that needed little or no examination by the patent office, as they were the inventions themselves. Substantive examination became necessary when the representation of the invention shifted from material to textual, the point in history where the invention became textualised and represented by the patent specification, the written document that encompassed the invention. The textualised invention apart from effecting critical changes in patent prosecution, centralised the operations of the patent office. With the adoption of new technologies like blockchain and Artificial Intelligence, the manner of representation of invention will undergo yet another change resulting in the further evolution of patent prosecution. Like digital photography which changed the representation of images by radically changing the backend process, the digitalised invention will change the backend process of the patent office, i.e. patent prosecution. The most significant systemic consequence of the digitalisation of the invention will be the decentralisation of patent system.
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