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Recent Trends in AI-related Inventions

July 8, 2019

The JPO researched recent trends in patent applications for AI-related inventions which are gaining significant attention in recent years.

1.Background

Along with the remarkable development of artificial Intelligence (AI) centering on deep learning, the trends in AI-related patent applications have gained significant attention. Therefore, the JPO researched recent trends in patent applications for AI-related inventions ※1 in Japan and other leading countries.

※1 AI-related inventions include ①AI-core inventions classified in G06N as International Patent Classification (IPC) and ②AI-applied inventions which apply AI to various technical fields.

2.Summary of the research

(1)The number of domestic patent applications for AI-related inventions has increased rapidly since 2014 due to the impact of the 3rd AI boom. About 3,100 applications for AI-related inventions were filed in 2017 (+65% compared with the previous year), including about 900 applications for AI-core inventions (+55% compared with the previous year).

Figure 1  The number of domestic applications for AI-related inventions

(2)The major method used in AI-related inventions is machine learning. Among these, inventions referring to deep learning are rapidly increasing, and nearly half of AI-related inventions refer to deep learning in the application documents in 2017.

Figure 2 The number of applications for AI-related inventions referring to deep learning in the application documents

(3)As for AI-applied fields, the numbers of applications in the image processing, information retrieval/recommendation, business method and medical diagnosis fields are large, and the growth rate in control / robotics fields is particularly high.

Figure 3 Composition of main classification of AI-related invention (showing the number in 2017)

(4)The numbers of applications for AI-core inventions in the Five IP Offices (Japan, US, the EPO, China, and Korea) and PCT applications are both increasing, with the number in US and China leading the way.

Figure 4  The number of applications to each patent office and PCT classified into IPC: G06N
(JP: Japan, US: United States, EP: Europe (EPO), CN: China, KR: Korea, WO: PCT International Application (regardless of applicant nationality))

3.Details of the research

For further details, see the following website.

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Division in Charge

Examination Research Office, Patent Examination Department (Electric Technology), JPO