The Japan Patent Office (JPO) reportedly plans to use artificial intelligence (AI) technology to automate some tasks involved in the process of patent, trade mark and design applications.

The JPO is set to apply AI technology from April 2018 to 20 tasks where enough documentation exists to train software and where pattern analysis and recognition would be useful.  The aim is to automate time consuming tasks to make operations more efficient and decrease long working hours for employees.  Examples of the tasks where AI may assist include in literature reviews i.e. searching through large volumes of files to ensure a technology or similar piece of intellectual property has not been previously and classifying applications by field.

The JPO started to use an AI system from December 2016 to respond to patent queries where the results showed the technology to have performed almost as well as human employees.  Testing for the accuracy and cost-effectiveness of the next set of AI IP administrative tasks is due to start in the summer of 2017.