USPTO expands use of machine learning with $50M contract

The Patent and Trademark Office plans to pilot tools that will expedite applications and requests, predict fraudulent transactions and reduce backlogs.
USPTO patent trademark, intellectual property
(Getty Images)

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office wants to improve intellectual property registration using machine learning, natural language processing and artificial intelligence technology under a $50 million contract award announced Monday.

General Dynamics Information Technology (GDIT) won the one-year contract with four one-year options through USPTO‘s Intelligent Automation and Innovation Support Services blanket purchase agreement.

Tools USPTO plans to pilot under the contract will expedite patent and trademark applications and requests, predict fraudulent transactions and reduce backlogs — cutting costs in the process.

“With this new work, we will bring our AI, ML and robotic process automation expertise to help USPTO develop solutions that accelerate the patent and trademark process to benefit American innovators,” said Christopher Hegedus, a vice president and general manager at GDIT, in the announcement.


USPTO Chief Information Officer Jamie Holcombe said his agency was already developing a new patent examiner search tool leveraging ML algorithms in February. And he expressed interest in applying the technology to trademark image searches and detecting fraudulent imagery.

The pilots stand to create new professional functions within USPTO.

“This contract represents an important step in helping USTPO advance the broader federal government goal to advance the adoption of AI and the way it can be applied to enhance machine potential and expand human capacity,” said Paul Nedzbala, a senior vice president at GDIT, in a statement.

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