Earlier this month, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the United States Department of Commerce issued guidance on the use of artificial intelligence tools when practicing before the USPTO. As summarized in the USPTO’s Notice:

“The [USPTO] issues this guidance to inform practitioners and the public of the important issues that patent and trademark professionals, innovators, and entrepreneurs must navigate while using Artificial Intelligence (AI) in matters before the USPTO. The USPTO recognizes the possibility that AI will be used to prepare and prosecute patent and trademark applications, as well as other filings before the Office including filings submitted to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB). While the USPTO is committed to maximizing AI’s benefits and seeing them distributed broadly across society, the USPTO recognizes the need, through technical mitigations and human governance, to cabin the risks arising from the use of AI in practice before the USPTO. At this time, based on the USPTO’s engagement with stakeholders through the USPTO’s AI and Emerging Technologies (ET) Partnership (AI/ET Partnership) and a review of existing rules, the USPTO has determined that existing rules protect the USPTO’s ecosystem against such potential perils. This guidance reminds individuals involved in proceedings before the USPTO of the pertinent rules and policies, helps inform those same individuals of the risks associated with the use of AI systems, and provides suggestions to mitigate those risks. The USPTO will continue to engage with the public, including through the AI/ET Partnership, as the use of AI advances and evolves.”

The lengthy guidance is set forth in the USPTO’s Notice, which ends by saying the guidance is not meant to be exhaustive and that “those appearing before the USPTO or accessing its systems are reminded to comply with the laws, regulations, precedent, and guidance in force at the time of their dealings with the USPTO.”