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Why AI-Generated Patent Applications Can Put Your Innovation at Risk

Why AI-Generated Patent Applications Can Put Your Innovation at Risk

Industry news News 11/01/2024

The value of automation beckons in every corner, and the invention world is no exception.

Tools like ChatGPT and Bard promise to simplify the patent process, slashing costs and saving time. However, when it comes to safeguarding your intellectual property, these AI assistants can be a risky bet. While they may have their uses for initial research or brainstorming, relying solely on AI for your patent application is like playing roulette with your innovation's future.

It is crucial to understand that AI cannot, and should not, be your sole patent champion. Whilst there are a range of AI-based Large Language Models (LLMs) which can recognise and generate text in response to user input and thus can be used for assisting with research or initial brainstorming, when it comes to navigating the intricate jungle of patent law, they are woefully inadequate. Let us explore the hidden landmines lurking beneath the surface of AI-generated patent applications:

1. Legal Landmines: Patents are legal documents, not mere technological descriptions. They demand a nuanced understanding of legal terminology, claim writing, and prior art– areas where AI's grasp is uncertain at best. Missing an obscure legal precedent or failing to anticipate rejections on grounds of novelty or obviousness can easily ruin your entire application.

2. Error-Prone Algorithms: Like any machine, AI can get things wrong. Misinterpretations, biases, and even minor bugs in the underlying algorithms can lead to inaccurate claims, incomplete descriptions, or even inadvertent disclosures of your trade secrets. Imagine jeopardizing your invention's future on such fallibility.

3. Hallucinations: An unavoidable phenomenon of LLMs is that they produce so-called ‘hallucinations’ where incorrect or completely made-up information is generated to try and plug gaps in the information they create. These hallucinations are often difficult to spot and could lead to catastrophic consequences for a patent application.

4. Contextual Blind Spot: A good patent application is not just about listing features – it is about conveying the invention's uniqueness and value proposition. AI lacks the contextual understanding and human judgment to craft compelling arguments or anticipate future technological advancements.

5. Hidden Vulnerability: Beyond the potential for AI to inadvertently reveal confidential information, there is another, more immediate risk: your own input becoming a public disclosure. Imagine feeding the AI details about your invention while seeking assistance with a patent application. This conversation, often stored in a chat history, may be accessible to individuals at the company behind the AI. These individuals may intentionally or inadvertently make the details of the conversation public. Perhaps worse, while there might be a presumption that this conversation is confidential, there is a significant risk that a court could deem this conversation a public disclosure even if no individual actually shares its’ details. Any of these circumstances could potentially invalidate your future patent application and jeopardise your invention's novelty.

6. Unprepared for the worst-case scenario: If you should find yourself in court, an AI assistant will not be standing beside you. Legal challenges are inevitable, and they demand the strategic prowess and unwavering dedication of a seasoned patent attorney. Just like two AI models generating different outputs for the same prompt, two attorneys might approach a case differently, but both bring their expertise and judgment to the table. Unlike AI's inconsistent tendencies, a human attorney can navigate the labyrinthine complexities of litigation, defend your claims with fierce arguments, and fight tooth and nail for your intellectual property rights. Do not settle for a gamble in the courtroom – trust the expertise of a patent attorney to defend your innovation.


For businesses considering filing a patent application, the message is clear: invest in the right expertise. Choose patent attorneys with a proven history of success, a deep understanding of your industry, and a commitment to protecting your intellectual property. While AI can be an invaluable tool in the innovation process, it is a blunt instrument for wielding the delicate blade of patent law. Do not gamble with your intellectual property – trust Secerna to get it right.


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Our team of commercially focused Chartered & European Patent Attorneys, operating across the UK and Europe, brings more than just legal expertise to the table. We boast a deep understanding of your industry and its challenges, ensuring your patent protections align seamlessly with your business goals.