SEP

NSCAI Report Released

The six hundred plus page final report of the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence was released on March 1, 2021 (the “Report”).  Chapter 12 considers IP-related issues. 

The Report briefly documents the challenges posed by China’s high patenting environment and the difficulties of assessing patent quality, particularly in SEP’s where it has identified over-declaration as a continuing issue. 

The Report also addresses uncertainties around patent-eligible subject matter.  Among its proposals, the Report also calls for greater interagency coordination on IP-related aspects of AI, with an important role for the USPTO.  The Report recommends that the President “should issue an executive order to recognize IP as a national priority and require the development of a comprehensive plan to reform and create IP policies and regimes that further national security, economic interests, and technology competitiveness strategies.”  This call for inter-agency coordination around technology is also found in many other recent transition paper proposals.

I periodically fielded questions from the staff of the NSCAI and provided citations for a number of their research concerns.  I don’t, however, subscribe to much of the narrative around China’s IP threat, particularly in terms of the threat posed by excessive patenting in China impacting US innovation. I do believe that the Report’s recommendations are nonetheless generally sound.

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