A guide to the UK IPO’s thinking on AI inventions


Howard Read, Paul Roscoe, Matthew Bennett

A guide to the UK IPO’s thinking on AI inventions


New guidance on the office’s examination of AI inventions provides helpful scenarios for innovators, explain Howard Read, Paul Roscoe, and Matthew Bennett of Appleyard Lees.

In 2020, the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) published a call for views on the patentability of AI inventions. In March 2021, the UK government committed the IPO to publish enhanced guidelines on the examination of patent applications relating to AI inventions. In September 2022, these guidelines were published.

As expected, the new guidelines do not depart from the established position with respect to AI inventions. However, the new guidelines provide useful scenarios against which AI inventions may be benchmarked on the likelihood of avoiding (or overcoming) an excluded subject matter objection.

Although the subject of patentability of AI inventions is still nuanced, the new guidelines reinforce:

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