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Updated UK IPO Guidelines for examining patent applications relating to AI inventions

By Frances Wilding, Partner

The UK Intellectual Property Office (UK IPO) has today re-released their Guidelines for examining patent applications relating to artificial intelligence (AI) inventions to take into account the Emotional Perception judgement.

This judgement was received positively by many in the patenting community because it gives a better chance for some AI inventions at getting a patent at the UK IPO, by indicating that Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs) are not to be excluded under the computer program exclusion (see our previous updates: Emotional Perception AI: A deep dive into the impact of the recent judgement on UKIPO practice relating to ANNs (and beyond…?) and Updates on AI and patenting in the UK).

The UK IPO guidelines and explanatory scenarios 1-18 applying the guidelines have now been edited to conform to the Emotional Perception Judgement, and some scenarios in the guidelines (the ANN scenarios 13-15) have turned from negative to positive! However, the changes are limited to ANNs only rather than to machine learning in general and it’s only the computer program exclusion that is avoided, so an ANN invention can still fall down as a business method or an abstract mathematical method. Some extra decisions of the Comptroller have been added too and there are a host of more minor editorial changes. Well worth a (re)read.

The appeal hearing when the UK IPO will put forward its case against the Emotional Perception judgement is scheduled for 14 May 2024.

This is for general information only and does not constitute legal advice. Should you require advice on this or any other topic then please contact or your usual HLK advisor.

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