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By J.D. Houvener
Patent Attorney and Founder

The Guide to AI-Assisting Your Patent Process

It seems like everybody is now trying to find ways for AI to simplify their life. New online AI models like ChatGPT have introduced an interesting method to accomplish tasks that previously took hours and hours to finish.

After doing my own research, I’ve put together this guide to help you understand how exactly you can leverage ChatGPT and AI writing tools throughout the patent process. Imagine a virtual assistant that has a perfect memory, great organization, and instant access to information. That’s ChatGPT! Let’s get into how you can use your new artificially intelligent companion to prepare your patent application.

Disclaimer: This is not legal advice, and I am not recommending that someone use an AI model to replace the expertise of a legal professional or patent attorney.

Phase 0: Brainstorming Your Idea

At the most basic level, ChatGPT is an AI language model – meaning that it can engage in thoughtful conversation with you. Use this feature during your brainstorming and idea refinement process. You’ll be able to receive feedback and alternative perspectives to help you clarify your ideas and inventions. See the example below.

Inventor: “I’ve developed a wearable device that tracks sleep patterns and provides personalized recommendations. How can I enhance this idea?”

ChatGPT: “That sounds intriguing! Have you considered incorporating advanced algorithms to analyze sleep data? It could provide more accurate insights and recommendations.”

Phase 1: The Patent Search

Before you go any further and start submitting applications, you’ll want to perform a patent search. A patent search involves looking at all “prior art” or documents that might exist that would prevent you from securing a patent on your idea. Remember, your invention must be novel, non-obvious, and useful.

ChatGPT is a great tool to use during this phase because it can instantly pull up relevant patents, research papers, and other prior art based on what you’re looking for. Provide specific information about your invention, refine your terms, review the results, and then ask again!

Inventor: “I have developed a novel solar-power technology. Can you help me find keywords and prior art?”

ChatGPT: “Certainly! Here are some relevant keywords to consider: solar power advancements, clean energy improvements, and emerging solar power technologies.”

Phase 2: Drafting Your Patent Application

While it’s not quite as easy as asking ChatGPT to draft a complete patent application for your invention, ChatGPT can significantly expedite parts of the writing process. In your application, your claims need to be very specific, and you need to describe your invention in great detail. Take a look at how ChatGPT can help you generate a description of your invention, including components, interactions, and potential embodiments.

Inventor: “I need to describe the intricate mechanisms of my robotic arm invention. Can you assist me?”

ChatGPT: “Of course! Let’s start by outlining the primary components and their functions. Then we can delve into the specific mechanical movements and how they contribute to the arm’s capabilities.”

Phase 3: Patent Filing and Documentation

You can (and should) be creative when using ChatGPT to help you with your patent application. For example, submitting a patent application involves collecting and uploading various forms, drawings, and documentation. Use ChatGPT to help you stay organized and assemble everything that you need for submission!

Inventor: “I’m ready to file my patent application. Can you help me compile the necessary documentation in the form of a checklist?”

ChatGPT: “Certainly! Let’s start with the application form. Ensure you provide accurate inventor information, a concise abstract, and detailed drawings highlighting the key aspects of your invention.”

Phase 4: Responding to Office Actions

The USPTO usually raises a few objections to your initial patent application. It’s rare to get it exactly right the first try – even when collaborating with a patent attorney. ChatGPT can help you address office actions. Try inputting relevant parts of the examiner’s communications to obtain suggestions on how to effectively respond to rejections or queries.

Inventor: “The examiner has raised concerns about the novelty of my invention. How should I respond?”

ChatGPT: “To address the examiner’s concerns, you can emphasize the unique combination of features that distinguish your invention from existing technologies. Additionally, providing specific technical details and data can further strengthen your argument.”

Phase 5: Patent Portfolio Management

Don’t be shy using ChatGPT to help you create checklists or brainstorm ideas to streamline your business processes. For example, you can ask ChatGPT how a successful inventor and business owner would go about managing a large portfolio of patents and IP. Try this prompt and be on your way to efficiently organizing, monitoring, and making decisions with your IP repertoire. 

Inventor: “I have a large patent portfolio across multiple technology domains. How can I effectively manage and prioritize my patents?”

ChatGPT: “Consider categorizing your patents based on technology clusters and market value. Additionally, regularly review patent expiration dates, evaluate potential licensing opportunities, and prioritize patent maintenance based on commercial viability.”

Best Practices and Considerations

As a legal professional myself, I have to mention a few guidelines for using ChatGPT responsibly:

Review and verify all responses from ChatGPT. Go over them with a legal professional and check for accuracy, relevancy, and legality.

Protect the confidentiality of your invention. AI is a learning model, so it internalizes the information that you provide. Be sure to leave out all confidential or sensitive information.

ChatGPT can not replace a patent lawyer. While it can provide valuable assistance, only your attorney can be totally reliable when it comes to patents and IP.

If you want to learn more about the USPTO’s stance on Artificial Intelligence when it comes to IP, check out this page on their website.

About the Author
J.D. Houvener is a Registered USPTO Patent Attorney who has a strong interest in helping entrepreneurs and businesses thrive. J.D. leverages his technical background in engineering and experience in the aerospace industry to provide businesses with a unique perspective on their patent needs. He works with clients who are serious about investing in their intellectual assets and provides counsel on how to capitalize their patents in the market. If you have any questions regarding this article or patents in general, consider contacting J.D. at