IPO publishes report “Artificial Intelligence a worldwide overview of AI patents and patenting by the UK AI sector”.

This IPO report highlights the patenting activity of the growing Artificial Intelligence (AI) sector at both the global and UK level.

Sixty years after the concept was first coined, the report notes that AI is “rapidly entering nearly every industrial sector and is increasingly embedded into modern society”.

According to the report, the UK Government is dedicated to advancing the UK’s AI sector, which is estimated to add £630 billion to the UK economy by 2035; AI is one of the four Grand Challenges forming the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy, which “aims to boost the productivity and earning power of people across the UK, and to increase the level of investment in Research and Development  from 1.7% to 2.4% of GDP by 2027”.

The report notes that earlier this year, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) published a report on the technology trends in AI (WIPO, 2019). This study aims to look at similar trends with more of a focus on the UK. It provides an overview of the AI patent landscape across the world and investigates the past and current trends in this area of technology. It looks more closely at patenting activity within the UK’s AI sector and how this compares with other countries. It provides insights into the leading UK-based applicants in the field, the location and extent of their future markets, as well as attempting to identify specific strengths within the UK’s AI sector.

The report says that “the rapid growth of worldwide patenting in AI technologies over the past decade has seen increases of over 400% in the number of published AI patent applications”. The UK AI sector has seen its patenting activity more than double over the same period. According to the report, around “88% of AI-related patents first filed in the UK are also protected elsewhere, in contrast with the US and China, who have 53% and 19% respectively of patents protected in other jurisdictions”. According to the report, the large proportion of UK patents protected elsewhere “reflects a perceived importance of commercialising AI-related patents internationally, which may be driven in part by the larger markets found outside the UK”.

The report finds that UK-based applicants and inventors are ranked sixth worldwide in terms of the absolute level of AI patenting activity. Further, there are more US-based applicants filing for AI-related patents in the UK than UK-based applicants. Technology related to neural networks has shown significant growth across the world over the past five years. The UK in particular has seen larger proportional increases than the global trends in AI-related technologies related to transport, image processing and telecommunications.  To access the report, click here.