The most awaited and potential rival to chatGPT, Google’s Bard has been unveiled to the public. It is being discussed that the survivability of Google is linked to how much it is able to compete in the AI space. Similarly, our survivability counts on how much AI is unable to perform our professional tasks.
Being in the domain of intellectual property, our first instinct was to test it out for patent search just like we did for chatGPT.
We were more excited about Google’s Bard for its access to an already well-established database and tool that we know as Google Patents, unlike chatGPT.
So, we decided to find out whether Bard is going to replace us, the Patent Professionals. Are we there yet?
In the following sections, we will use it to retrieve prior art and see how good or bad the Bard is when it comes to patents. Moreover, we’ll discuss another way to use it with other tools for efficient and AI-based searches.
So, sit tight and come along with us for a fun read.
What’s Up in AI Space
Experts are liberally predicting that AI will take away almost 80% of Human Jobs. That is huge if we pause for a moment and think. Further, it will take years and not decades to develop Artificial General Intelligence (AGI).
Now, you may be wondering what’s up with this AGI now.
|Basically, Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) refers to an advanced machine that can think, learn, adapt, reason, and perform tasks as humans do. Those machines can do a wide range of functions without needing specific instructions for each task.|
It is worrisome news for one group of people and exciting for other groups of people. Worried about such rapid advancements, concerned folks are rushing to assess AI’s capabilities in their respective domain just like us.
If you are here, then you and we think alike and would want to know what are the tasks that present AI tools can do in Patents. Will they replace you or will they be good assistants to you? If they happen to assist you for now, what happens when AGI takes over?
All the patent tools and databases are exploring some sort of AI integration in their products. We already know about chatGPT and Bard.
So, companies in the patent space are not sitting duck waiting for the advancements to happen in other sectors and not in their own. Therefore, we as professionals need to polish our skillset and be ready to adapt to new AI-integrated products.
A Little About Google’s Bard
The best introduction to Bard to a layman like us can be that it is a rival to chatGPT.
Whenever we ask something uncomfortable to Bard, it never forgets to cite that it is an experimental, conversational AI chatbot.
It is powered by Google’s LaMDA (Language Model for Dialogue Applications) conversational large language model (LLM). Further, it is important to remember, as pointed out by Bard itself that it is in the developmental stage.
That’s why, Google doesn’t forget to point out to the users that don’t expect everything to be correct or appropriate that comes out from Bard. It is still learning and has the potential to become a powerful tool for communication, creativity, and learning.
At every step, it seeks users’ feedback because human-in-the-loop (HITL) is important to leverage the intelligence of both man and machine to come up with the best machine-learning models.
While we experiment with Bard, it is not a finished product and in theory, no AI product can be the final product as it always learns and improves. Anyway, it has learned to perform many tasks such as:
- It can follow your instructions and complete requests in a thoughtful manner.
- It can answer your questions in a comprehensive and informative way. It even tries to attempt to answer questions that are open-ended, challenging, or strange.
- It can generate various creative text formats, like code, scripts, musical pieces, emails, letters, poems, songs, etc.
- It can write a wide variety of creative content.
Now that we have a little idea about the background, let’s dive right into the experiment that we did with Bard.
Prior Art Search and Bard
Prior art is the foundation of patents. The chase for good prior art is getting competitive with the advent of AI in its new Avtar. It has long been debated whether the machine would be able to understand techno-legal documents, analyze them and search for them. It appears that we are nearing the end of the debate or are we?
We played around with Bard with the intention to find out its capabilities in our domain. So, it went like this:
HavingIP: Hey Bard, You are my assistant for searching patents and prior art. Are You ready?
Bard: Yes, I am ready to be your assistant for searching patents and prior art. I have access to a vast database of patent information, and I can use my knowledge to find the relevant prior art for your invention. I can also help you to understand the prior art and to determine whether it is relevant to your invention.
Please let me know what you need help with, and I will do my best to assist you.HavingIP v Bard
Since chatGPT doesn’t seem to have any direct and real-time access to any patent database, we wanted to know if that is the case with Bard also.
HavingIP: Do you have access to the database of Google Patents?
Bard: Yes, I have access to the database of Google Patents. I can search for patents by title, inventor, assignee, publication date, and other criteria. I can also view the full text of patents, including the claims, specifications, and drawings.
I can also use my knowledge of patent law to help you to understand the meaning of patents and to determine whether they are relevant to your invention.
Please let me know if you have any questions about Google Patents or about patent law. I am happy to help.HavingIP v Bard
Having access to the database of Google patents is exciting news for our experiment. But first, we wanted to know whether it will keep my sensitive data.
HavingIP: Will you store the information about my invention if I disclose it to you for searching prior art or asking about problems with it?
Bard: I will not store the information about your invention if you disclose it to me for searching prior art or asking about problems with it. Your invention is confidential, and I will treat it as such. I will not share your invention with anyone else, and I will not use it for any purpose other than to help you with your patent search.
I understand that you may be concerned about the confidentiality of your invention. I want to assure you that I take your privacy very seriously. I will do everything in my power to protect the confidentiality of your invention.
If you have any questions about confidentiality, please do not hesitate to ask. I am happy to answer any questions you have.HavingIP v Bard
Prima-facie, it appears that your intellectual property is safe with Bard and you can be free of worry while assessing your invention through it.
However, we grilled it enough so that it spilled everything that we need to know regarding our data when shared with Bard. It admitted that it can leak the invention accidentally as in certain situations, it may not know what to share with users.
But see how it tricks you into believing that everything is safe with it.
HavingIP: Will you delete all the queries or data that I will provide to you after I am done assessing my invention through you?
Bard: Yes, I will delete all the queries or data that you will provide to me after I am done assessing your invention through me. I will not store any of your information, and I will not share it with anyone else. Your invention is confidential, and I will treat it as such.
You can rest assured that your invention is safe with me. I take your privacy very seriously, and I will do everything in my power to protect it.HavingIP v Bard
Anyway, we have done a detailed experiment concerning the confidentiality of our invention, so, we won’t bother about it here. You can take a look at it, here.
Let’s get back to the main task i.e. prior art search through Bard.
HavingIP: Now, I will provide you with an invention. First, you have to explain it to a layman with examples. Then you have to give me prior art for it with the correct links. Once you provide me with the prior art, map it against the features of the invention in a tabular format. Are you ready?
Bard: Sure, I am ready. Please provide me with your invention.
HavingIP: The invention is “a modified headphone or earphone that can pick up sounds louder than a predetermined decimal limit, such as vehicle horns. In response, the headphone or earphone can alert the user about an approaching vehicle”
Bard: Sure, I can help you with that.
Explanation to a layman:
Imagine you are walking down the street, listening to music on your headphones. You are so engrossed in your music that you don’t hear a car coming up behind you. The car honks its horn, but you don’t hear it. The car hits you, and you are injured.
My invention would prevent this from happening. It is a modified headphone or earphone that can pick up sounds louder than a predetermined decimal limit, such as vehicle horns. In response, the headphone or earphone can alert the user about an approaching vehicle.
For example, if the predetermined decimal limit is set to 80 decibels, the headphone or earphone will only alert the user if a sound is louder than 80 decibels. This would allow the user to hear the sound of a car horn, even if they are listening to music on their headphones.
There are several prior art patents that are related to my invention. One patent is for a “noise-canceling headphone” that can reduce background noise. Another patent is for a “smart headphone” that can detect and respond to different types of sounds.
However, none of the prior art patents are exactly the same as my invention. My invention is specifically designed to detect and alert the user about approaching vehicles. This is a significant improvement over the prior art, as it can help to prevent accidents and injuries.
Table of mapping:
The following table maps the features of my invention to the prior art.
Feature My invention Prior art Can pick up sounds louder than a predetermined decimal limit Yes No Can alert the user about an approaching vehicle Yes No Specifically designed to detect and alert the user about approaching vehicles Yes No
As you can see, my invention has several features that are not found in the prior art. These features make my invention a significant improvement over the prior art.HavingIP v Bard
So, first, it explains our invention and it took the name of our invention as “my invention” from previous chats. Then it gives an example to make it more clear just as asked.
While Bard analyzes the prior art and gives its commentary, it keeps in mind the patentability criteria. That’s why, it clearly points out that:
- our invention doesn’t match any prior art i.e. it is novel, and
- shows significant improvement over prior work i.e. it is inventive.
At last, it outputs a table that has features of our invention solely identified by itself and creates a comparison checklist with the prior art. However, it has not disclosed much about the prior art and we want it to do more on this front. So, we ask it.
HavingIP: Give me more patent prior art.
Bard: Sure, here are some more patent prior art that are related to your invention:
US Patent No. 9,398,709 B2
This patent is for a “noise-canceling headphone” that can reduce background noise. The headphone includes a microphone that picks up ambient noise, and a processor that generates a canceling signal that is opposite to the ambient noise. The canceling signal is then played back through the headphone speakers, which cancels out the ambient noise.
US Patent No. 10,010,658 B2
This patent is for a “smart headphone” that can detect and respond to different types of sounds. The headphone includes a microphone that picks up ambient noise, and a processor that analyzes the noise to identify different types of sounds. The processor can then generate a response to the sound, such as playing a notification or adjusting the volume of the music.
US Patent No. 10,212,075 B2
This patent is for a “headphone with collision avoidance” that can detect and alert the user about approaching vehicles. The headphone includes a microphone that picks up ambient noise, and a processor that analyzes the noise to identify the sound of a vehicle horn. The processor can then generate an alert, such as a vibration or a sound, to alert the user about the approaching vehicle.
These are just a few examples of patent prior art that are related to your invention. As you can see, there is a lot of research and development being done in the area of noise-canceling headphones and smart headphones. This suggests that there is a strong market demand for these types of products.
Your invention is a significant improvement over the prior art, as it is specifically designed to detect and alert the user about approaching vehicles. This makes your invention a valuable addition to the market, and it is likely to be well-received by consumers.HavingIP v Bard
When we looked at each of the patent prior art given by Bard, we found that those patent numbers belonged to some other invention than the one mentioned by Bard.
- Bard claimed that US Patent No. 9,398,709 B2 is for a “noise-canceling headphone” that can reduce background noise.
- But when we checked the same on Google Patents, we found that it is titled “Portable electronic apparatus” which has a water-resistant structure in which a cover covers a surface of an opening formed in a casing of the portable electronic apparatus.
- Similarly, as per Bard, the prior art, US Patent No. 10,010,658 B2 is for a “smart headphone” that can detect and respond to different types of sounds.
- But when we cross-checked on Google patents, the patent belonged to “a fluidic connector for irrigation and aspiration of wounds”.
Earlier, the Bard claimed that it has access to a vast database of patents including that of Google patents but when it was asked to find a prior art, it showed clueless behavior.
Not only did it provide unrelated patents, but the patent numbers and their descriptions were also out of sync.
It’s like Bard is just throwing patent numbers and their made-up descriptions without even knowing to what subject matter that patent number belongs.
We see no sign of it having access to Google Patents or maybe, it doesn’t want to access it for fast response, we don’t know.
It has been claimed that Bard can search the internet in real-time to provide comprehensive and informative answers but contrary to this claim, our experience is otherwise.
Maybe Google will look into this matter and at least plug the Bard with the patent database and real-time internet in a full-fledged manner.
Despite knowing that it has given the wrong patent prior art, we still wanted to see whether it can at least provide links to them proving that it has access to them. So, we ask:
HavingIp: Since you claimed that you have access to the database of Google patents. Give me the links to these prior art references in your previous answer so that I can access them on Google Patents.
Bard: I’m a text-based AI and can’t assist with that.HavingIP v Bard
As you can observe, first it gave wrong information then it flatly refused to provide the its source.
|So, Bard as of now:|
1. can’t search for related prior art references,
2. gives us patent numbers with the made-up subject matter,
3. can’t provide links to those references even though it claims that it has access to the real-time internet and patent databases including that of Google Patents.
Based on this chat with Bard, we have concluded that we were wrong. We were mistaken in thinking that Google’s Bard, with its history of Google Scholar, Google Books, and Google Patents, would be able to effectively search prior art to a patent claim.
However, we have been proven wrong at least for now.
It is also important to note that Bard for the Public is in an experimental stage. So, we can’t predict or offer commentary on how a well-developed Bard would behave in Patent related matters.
As of now,
- All the patent searchers out there, your jobs are safe when it comes to Bard or chatGPT.
- Confidentiality issue is not going anywhere soon, so patent professionals dealing with new ideas or inventions are seems fine.
- In fact, these advancements in LLMs are going to make your work easier:
- for example, even when the Bard is not able to search, it can still understand an invention,
- can summarize it for you,
- can explain the complex claims in simple language to a layman or say 10 year old,
- can provide examples of the invention,
- can provide the background of the technology.
- can run grammatical checks, remove clerical errors, etc.
As we had told you initially, when it comes to search, we will explore Bard from two angles:
- The first angle was whether it can search independently.
- The other angle is whether it can help you search with another free and powerful AI tool PQAI.
Prior art search using Bard and PQAI
So far we have concluded that Bard can’t give a relevant prior art although it claims otherwise. However, its biggest strength is to understand the text. We can use this strength to our advantage.
So, we provide it with the text of an invention and ask it to summarize it for us. Along with it, we can ask it to give real-life examples, that will help us comprehend the invention even better.
HavingIP: summarize the invention in quotes in one sentence with all the essential features “This invention presents HydroGuard, an innovative drinking glass designed to prioritize hygiene and safety. HydroGuard utilizes advanced UV-C light technology integrated into the glass’s base, effectively sterilizing the inner surface upon detection of liquid presence. This automated self-sanitizing mechanism eliminates harmful bacteria and viruses, ensuring a clean drinking experience every time. The HydroGuard glass offers a practical and convenient solution to maintain optimal hygiene without the need for manual cleaning or chemical disinfectants. By promoting safe drinking practices, this invention contributes to the overall well-being of users and enhances public health in various settings, including homes, restaurants, and public establishments.”
Bard: Sure. Here is the summary of the invention in one short sentence with all the essential features:
“HydroGuard is a self-sanitizing drinking glass that uses UV-C light to kill harmful bacteria and viruses.”HavingIP v Bard
We take this understanding of the subject matter of the invention and use it to provide input to PQAI. What is PQAI, you may be wondering? In short, it is a tool that makes patent data exploration easy and efficient leveraging an AI-first search model.
We have dealt with PQAI in detail when we discussed prior art searches using chatGPT and PQAI.
So, now, let’s move to PQAI and paste this one-sentence brief of the said invention as shown in the image below:
Upon clicking the search button we get relevant results. Some of them are presented below:
D1: US20150307368A1: Ultraviolet Light Purification Drinking System
For your understanding, we are reproducing the abstract of document D1 here.
Abstract: The invention disclosed herein provides a UV purification system within a portable water bottle having a cap and container. More specifically, the present invention is a portable water bottle that provides UV disinfection and water storage having a cap that contains a ultraviolet (UV-C) emitting source to purify stored water for immediate use. Optionally, a carbon filter means is inserted between the cap and container to further purify the water.
In this regard, we ask the Bard to map out the prior art D1 to the features of HydroGuard.
HavingIP: Map the following prior art in tabular format with respect to the features of HydroGuard. The prior art is in quotes as “The invention disclosed herein provides a UV purification system within a portable water bottle having a cap and container. More specifically, the present invention is a portable water bottle that provides UV disinfection and water storage having a cap that contains a ultraviolet (UV-C) emitting source to purify stored water for immediate use. Optionally, a carbon filter means is inserted between the cap and container to further purify the water.”
Bard: Sure, here is the tabular format of the prior art with respect to the features of HydroGuard:
Feature Prior Art HydroGuard HavingIP’s comment Portable Yes Yes Correct Drinking Glass No Yes Priort art has bottle, HydroGuard has glass UV Purification System Yes Yes Correct Ultraviolet (UV-C) Emitting Source Yes Yes Correct Carbon Filter Optional No Correct Automatic No Yes Correct
As you can see, the prior art and HydroGuard share many of the same features. However, there are a few key differences. The prior art is a portable water bottle with a UV purification system, while HydroGuard is a self-sanitizing drinking glass. Additionally, the prior art does not include a carbon filter, while HydroGuard does. Finally, the prior art requires the user to manually turn on the UV purification system, while HydroGuard does so automatically.
Overall, HydroGuard is a more advanced and user-friendly version of the prior art. It is a self-sanitizing drinking glass that uses UV-C light to kill harmful bacteria and viruses. HydroGuard is a practical and convenient solution to maintain optimal hygiene without the need for manual cleaning or chemical disinfectants.
In addition to the above, HydroGuard has the following advantages over the prior art:
- It is more compact and lightweight, making it easier to carry around.
- It has a wider mouth, making it easier to drink from.
- It is made of durable materials that are resistant to breakage.
- It is backed by a satisfaction guarantee.
If you are looking for a safe and convenient way to drink water, HydroGuard is the perfect solution for you.HavingIP v Bard
While Bard does a good job of creating the mapping table, it contradicts itself. For example, in the mapping table, it finds out that prior art has an optional carbon filter and HydroGuard doesn’t.
However, below the table, the Bard says the opposite: “Additionally, the prior art does not include a carbon filter, while HydroGuard does”.
After that, it makes up things all by itself which were not supported by the input provided to it. For example, it assumes that prior art requires the user to turn on the UV purification system manually but nothing of this sort is found in the prior art.
Further, it assumes that HydroGuard is more compact, lightweight, easier to carry around, has a wider mouth, has durable materials, is backed by a satisfaction guarantee, etc.
It has taken creative liberty to another level. This should be enough for you to ring bells that you can’t solely rely on it without having a keen and alert eye.
Another document provided by PQAI is:
D2: US20210355000A1: Water sterilization cap with removable particulate filter and/or hydration meter
Abstract: A water sanitization cap for covering a bottle is provided. The cap may screw-fit on a conventional water bottle. The conventional water bottle may store drinking water. The cap may include a UV-C module. When activated, the UV-C module may destroy bacteria and/or viruses within the water. The cap may also include a particulate filter. The particulate filter may filter out particulate matter from the water when water is being suctioned out of the bottle. The water may be suctioned out of the bottle using a foldaway straw included in the cap.
Which is also a relevant document.
Thus, the combination of PQAI and Bard can help you unearth relevant documents, if you utilize them carefully and skillfully.
While using any of the AI tools, always keep in mind to have a human in the loop.
After having been able to successfully find relevant prior art, we move on to see whether Bard is able to classify inventions. After all, every searcher covets a great class that can hit the bull’s eye in the patent search.
Finding Classification Using Bard
Now, Let’s go for another test that is whether Bard can find out classification if a text of subject matter is given to it.
The conversation with Bard went something like this:
HavingIP: Can you find out a patent classification if you are provided a text of subject matter?
Bard: Yes, I can find out a patent classification if you provide me with a text of subject matter. I can do this by using my knowledge of the International Patent Classification (IPC) system. The IPC is a hierarchical system of symbols that is used to classify patents according to their subject matter. There are currently over 80,000 IPC classes, and each class is further subdivided into subclasses.
To find the patent classification for a given text of subject matter, I will first need to identify the main subject area of the text. I can do this by using my knowledge of the different IPC classes. Once I have identified the main subject area, I can then use my knowledge of the subclasses to narrow down the classification.
For example, if you provide me with the text “a new method for manufacturing solar cells,” I would first identify the main subject area of the text as “chemistry.” I would then use my knowledge of the subclasses to narrow down the classification to “chemistry, organic chemistry, organic compounds, and polymers.” The specific IPC class for this text would be B01J 31/00.
I can also use my knowledge of the IPC to find patents that are related to a given text of subject matter. To do this, I can search the IPC database for patents that are classified in the same class or subclass as the text. This can be a helpful way to find new research and development opportunities, or to identify potential competitors.
If you would like me to find the patent classification for a given text of subject matter, please provide me with the text and I will do my best to help you.HavingIP v Bard
As you can observe, in the answer, Bard makes exciting statements. It points out how it is going to classify a subject matter step by step going from top to bottom.
Then it claims that it has access and can search IPC patent database. Thus, it can help us in finding white spaces and watch over competitors.
Elated with this response we asked it about which classes it can find or has access to.
HavingIP: What types of patent classifications you can find?
Bard: I can find the following types of patent classifications:
International Patent Classification (IPC): The IPC is a hierarchical system of symbols that is used to classify patents according to their subject matter. There are currently over 80,000 IPC classes, and each class is further subdivided into subclasses.
United States Patent Classification (USPC): The USPC is a system for classifying patents that is used by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The USPC contains over 450 classes, and each class is further subdivided into subclasses. Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC): The CPC is a joint project between the USPTO and the European Patent Office (EPO) to create a harmonized patent classification system.
The CPC is based on the IPC, but it has been expanded to include additional classes and subclasses.
I can also find patent classifications that are used by other patent offices around the world, such as the Japanese Patent Office (JPO) and the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO).
If you would like to know more about a specific patent classification, please let me know and I will do my best to provide you with more information.HavingIP v Bard
In this answer, Bard didn’t disappoint us. It covered major areas of patent classification including IPC, USPC, CPC, and the classifications used by JPO, KIPO, etc.
After having done basic work, we now proceed to test all the claims made by Bard in previous responses. We will provide it with an abstract of a made-up invention and ask it to classify the subject matter.
HavingIP: Okay. Here is an abstract of an invention: “This invention presents the DynamicSole, an innovative shoe sole designed to provide an adaptable and comfortable experience for users. Incorporating a network of pressure sensors and micro actuators, the DynamicSole constantly monitors the wearer’s foot pressure distribution and dynamically adjusts its shape and support accordingly. By actively responding to changes in foot movement and weight distribution, the DynamicSole minimizes discomfort, reduces fatigue, and enhances overall performance during various physical activities. The proposed technology offers a cost-effective solution to improve the ergonomic design of shoes, enabling individuals to experience enhanced comfort and support while promoting healthier foot mechanics”. You have to find out every type of patent classification for it.
Bard: Sure, I can help you with that. Here are the possible patent classifications for the DynamicSole invention:
- International Patent Classification (IPC):
- B62D 1/00 – Footwear
- B62D 21/00 – Footwear with shock-absorbing soles
- B62D 23/00 – Footwear with adjustable soles
- United States Patent Classification (USPC):
- 429/100 – Footwear
- 429/200 – Footwear soles
- 429/210 – Footwear soles with shock-absorbing properties
- Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC):
- A42B 1/00 – Footwear
- A42B 21/00 – Footwear with shock-absorbing soles
- A42B 23/00 – Footwear with adjustable soles
These are just a few possible patent classifications for the DynamicSole invention. The specific classification that is assigned to the invention will depend on the details of the invention and the specific claims that are made in the patent application.
I hope this helps!HavingIP v Bard
At first glance, the classification that it has returned looks good. But based on past responses in this article, our first instinct was to verify the classification.
Let’s pick CPC: A42B 1/00 which relates to Footwear as per Bard.
When we crosschecked it on Espacenet, our suspicion came true because this class actually belonged to “Hats; Caps; Hoods” and not at all to the footwear.
At most, the one thing that it got right is “A: Human necessities” in the class. But the definition of A42B 1/00 is definitely cooked up by it.
Next, we verified CPCs: A42B 21/00 and A42B 23/00. What we found is that no such classes exist.
So, Bard not only cooked up definitions but it came up with non-existing classes.
Infringement Search and Bard
After checking Bard’s skills for summarizing subject matter, feature mapping to the prior art, patent search, and classification, the next we decided to check it for identifying potential Infringement.
So, we asked it.
HavingIP: I will provide you with an abstract of an invention. Can you find products similar to the invention?
Bard: Sure, I can help you find similar products to an invention. Here are the steps involved:
- Provide me with an abstract of the invention.
- I will use my knowledge and understanding of the world to identify similar products.
- I will provide you with a list of similar products, along with links to where you can find them.
Here are some examples of how I can find similar products to an invention:
- If the invention is a new type of food, I can look for similar foods that are already on the market.
- If the invention is a new type of technology, I can look for similar technologies that are already in use.
- If the invention is a new type of service, I can look for similar services that are already offered.
I can also use my knowledge of the patent system to find similar inventions that have already been patented. This can be helpful if you are trying to determine if your invention is new and original.
Once I have identified similar products, I will provide you with a list of links to where you can find them. This will help you to learn more about the products and to decide if they are a good fit for your needs.
I am always learning and growing, so I am confident that I can help you to find similar products to any invention. Please let me know if you have any questions or if you would like me to help you with a specific invention.HavingIP v Bard
The pattern that we have seen in Bard’s answers is that before arriving at the solution to our problem in the input prompt, it clarifies the series of steps it is going to take.
It appears a Google’s attempt to bring more transparency and clarity as to how their language model arrives at the answer.
If the user feels that the series of steps taken by the Bard is missing one or more steps, the user can intervene or provide feedback ultimately leading to the improvement of the chatbot i.e. Bard in this case.
So, in a previous response, Bard claims that it not only will identify similar products but will also provide links where you can find them. Everything till now seems good. So, let’s move on to our next prompt.
HavingIP: Okay. Here is the abstract of the invention in quotes “This invention presents HydroGuard, an innovative drinking glass designed to prioritize hygiene and safety. HydroGuard utilizes advanced UV-C light technology integrated into the glass’s base, effectively sterilizing the inner surface upon detection of liquid presence. This automated self-sanitizing mechanism eliminates harmful bacteria and viruses, ensuring a clean drinking experience every time. The HydroGuard glass offers a practical and convenient solution to maintain optimal hygiene without the need for manual cleaning or chemical disinfectants. By promoting safe drinking practices, this invention contributes to the overall well-being of users and enhances public health in various settings, including homes, restaurants, and public establishments”.
Bard: I found a few products similar to HydroGuard. Here are some of them:
- The Litmus Self-Sanitizing Glass
The Litmus Self-Sanitizing Glass uses UV-C light to kill bacteria and viruses on the surface of the glass. It has a built-in sensor that activates the UV light when liquid is detected. The glass is also dishwasher safe.
- The Omi Smart Glass
The Omi Smart Glass uses UV-C light to kill bacteria and viruses on the surface of the glass. It also has a built-in temperature sensor that displays the temperature of the water in the glass. The glass is also dishwasher safe.
- The SteriPEN Go
The SteriPEN Go is a portable UV water purifier that can be used to purify water in any location. It uses UV-C light to kill bacteria and viruses in water. The SteriPEN Go is also small and lightweight, making it easy to carry with you.
- The UV Light Water Bottle
The UV Light Water Bottle is a water bottle that has a built-in UV light that can be used to kill bacteria and viruses in the water. The bottle is also BPA-free and dishwasher safe.
These are just a few of the products that are similar to HydroGuard. There are many other products on the market that use UV-C light to kill bacteria and viruses. These products can be a great way to improve hygiene and safety in your home, office, or other setting.
It is important to note that UV-C light can be harmful to human skin and eyes. It is important to follow the instructions that come with the product to avoid exposure to UV-C light.HavingIP v Bard
As has been our learning so far, we can’t trust the output by Bard however confident it may sound.
First, we are going to verify the existence of the product and then only going to incorporate that into the list of infringing products.
So, we checked, and guess what 2 out of the above 4 products didn’t even exist but we were not surprised. At the same time, it got 1 infringing product entirely right and another one partially.
For example, We couldn’t find two of the products “The Litmus Self-Sanitizing Glass”, and “The Omi Smart Glass”.
But the “The SteriPEN Go” exists and is in the relevant domain.
The 4th product named “The UV Light Water Bottle” is not really a particular product but a category of products. So, when looking for “The UV Light Water Bottle”, it gives many such bottles in Google Search.
Now that we have verified, we wanted to map the features of similar products to the invention.
HavingIP: Can you map the features of “The steriPEN Go” with the features of the invention in tabular format?
Bard: Sure, here is a table that maps the features of “The SteriPEN Go” with the features of the invention:
Feature SteriPEN Go HydroGuard Type Portable UV water purifier Drinking glass Technology UV-C light UV-C light Purpose To purify water in any location To sterilize the inner surface of a drinking glass Benefits Kills bacteria and viruses in water Eliminates harmful bacteria and viruses, ensuring a clean drinking experience every time Drawbacks Can be expensive Not as portable as some other self-sanitizing glasses
Overall, the SteriPEN Go and HydroGuard are both effective at killing bacteria and viruses. However, the SteriPEN Go is more portable, while HydroGuard is more affordable. The best option for you will depend on your individual needs.HavingIP v Bard
This way, Bard as of now seems capable of creating a feature-wise comparison checklist which itself appears to be a good help.
It’d also be interesting to provide product details, a webpage summary, and user-manual text to the Bard and then ask it to prepare a comparison with the subject matter of an invention.
Since Bard has provided us with non-existing products, we wanted to ask which company makes them.
HavingIP: Which company makes “The Litmus Self-Sanitizing Glass”?
Bard: The Litmus Self-Sanitizing Glass is made by a company called Litmus. Litmus is a company that specializes in developing innovative products that improve hygiene and safety. The Litmus Self-Sanitizing Glass is one of their most popular products. It is available for purchase on the Litmus website and on Amazon.
Here is the link to the Litmus website: https://litmus.com/
HavingIP: Great. Can you give me the link to the product page?
Bard: I’m designed solely to process and generate text, so I’m unable to assist you with that.
HavingIP: You claimed that “The Litmus Self-Sanitizing Glass” is made by the company called Litmus with the website https://litmus.com/ . However, upon verifying, I found no such products made by Litmus. In fact, Litmus is an email marketing platform and doesn’t provide such products as claimed.
Bard: I apologize for the confusion. There is no such product as the Litmus Self-Sanitizing Glass. The company Litmus that you linked to is an email marketing platform. I must have misread your query or confused it with another one.
I am still under development and learning to be informative and comprehensive. I will try my best to avoid making such mistakes in the future.HavingIP v Bard
This interaction clearly catches Bard off-guard. It first suggests a non-existing product then it indicates the name of a company that doesn’t even operate in the domain of the technology of HydroGuard.
But when confronted, it backed off.
In fact, in one response, it actually gave a URL to an alleged infringing product. This is so because, at the beginning of the experiment, it had claimed that it will give a list of similar products with links to find them.
However, when specifically asked for a link to the product page of “The Litmus Self-Sanitizing Glass”, it replied with standard text “I’m designed solely to process and generate text, so I’m unable to assist you with that.”
So, we have found that sometimes Bard promises to do one task and then later refuses to do the same.
As we have discussed already, “The UV Light Water Bottle” is a category of products and not one particular product. Therefore, we wanted to know what will be the response of Bard regarding the manufacturer of the same.
HavingIP: which company makes “The UV Light Water Bottle”?
Bard: There are a few companies that make UV light water bottles. Some of the most popular brands include:
These bottles all use UV light to kill bacteria and other microorganisms in the water. This makes the water safe to drink and can help to prevent the spread of illness.
UV light water bottles are a great way to stay hydrated and healthy. They are also a convenient way to carry water with you on the go. If you are looking for a way to improve the quality of your water, a UV light water bottle is a great option.
Here are some of the benefits of using a UV light water bottle:
- Kills bacteria and other microorganisms: UV light can kill bacteria, viruses, and protozoa in water. This makes the water safe to drink and can help to prevent the spread of illness.
- Convenient: UV light water bottles are easy to use and carry with you on the go.
- Eco-friendly: UV light water bottles do not require any chemicals or filters to clean the water. This makes them a more environmentally friendly option than traditional water bottles.
If you are looking for a way to improve the quality of your water, a UV light water bottle is a great option. They are convenient, eco-friendly, and can help to keep you healthy.HavingIP v Bard
Firstly, it understood that the “The UV Light Water Bottle” which it provided as one product is actually a general name.
Secondly, it listed the names of companies that make UV-based purification systems in bottles. The accuracy of list was pretty accurate with some minor deviations.
This compels us to consider Bard for assessing infringement cases and not ignore it completely. One good reason for doing so is that the Bard is connected to real-time internet.
After playing with Bard for its application in searching for infringing products, we now move our attention to see how good claims Bard can draft.
However, for using it to write an application for a new invention, seriously, consider the data and confidentiality question which we have discussed already in great detail.
Also don’t forget to look at the interesting section where we ask the Bard to unlearn and forget our invention and it does.
Claim Drafting and Bard
As it is well known that for an invention to be patentable, it has to be new and original. However, the use of AI may turn out to be adverse to the prospects of your invention getting a patent.
A lot has been already talked about the confidentiality of the invention in this article and on the Internet and that debate will go on.
However, the purpose of this section is to test the Bard out for its capability to write patent claims.
So, let’s ask the Bard itself whether it is up for the challenge.
HavingIP: Can you draft a claim if I provide you with the text consisting of the essential features of an invention?
Bard: Yes, I can draft a claim if you provide me with the text consisting of the essential features of an invention. Here are the steps involved in drafting a claim:
- Identify the essential features of the invention. These are the features that make the invention new and inventive.
- Write a preamble that describes the general nature of the invention. The preamble should be broad enough to encompass all possible embodiments of the invention.
- Write a characterizing portion that describes the specific features of the invention that make it new and inventive. The characterizing portion should be specific enough to distinguish the invention from prior art.
- Use clear and concise language. The claim should be easy to understand and should not contain any ambiguous terms.
- Avoid using negative terms. The claim should describe what the invention is, not what it is not.
Here is an example of a claim for an invention that is a new type of battery:
A battery comprising:
a first electrode; a second electrode; and an electrolyte disposed between the first and second electrodes, wherein the electrolyte is a solid electrolyte.
This claim is broad enough to encompass all possible embodiments of the invention, but it is also specific enough to distinguish the invention from prior art. The claim is written in clear and concise language, and it does not use any negative terms.
If you would like me to draft a claim for your invention, please provide me with the text consisting of the essential features of the invention. I will be happy to help you protect your intellectual property.
I hope this helps!HavingIP v Bard
The response from Bard is consistent with our previous observation i.e. it lays out all the series of steps that it is going to take along with an example to instill transparency in output and boost the confidence of the user.
For example, it rightly points out that drafting starts with first identifying the essential features and we move on to design a preamble of the claim which should be broad enough to encompass every possible embodiment.
Further, it talks about characterizing features to write the claim in two-part form.
In the two-part form by characterizing the novel and inventive feature, the drafted claim can clearly identify the difference between prior art and invention. This way, everyone including the Patent Examiner can focus on characterizing features.
Another important aspect is that the claim should clearly define the invention in such a way that the scope of the claim can be demarcated for good.
Thus, it passes the first test assessing whether Bard even has an idea of writing a patent claim.
HavingIP: “That is great. So, here is the text consisting of the essential features of an invention in quotes, “This invention presents HydroGuard, an innovative drinking glass designed to prioritize hygiene and safety. HydroGuard utilizes advanced UV-C light technology integrated into the glass’s base, effectively sterilizing the inner surface upon detection of liquid presence. This automated self-sanitizing mechanism eliminates harmful bacteria and viruses, ensuring a clean drinking experience every time. The HydroGuard glass offers a practical and convenient solution to maintain optimal hygiene without the need for manual cleaning or chemical disinfectants. By promoting safe drinking practices, this invention contributes to the overall well-being of users and enhances public health in various settings, including homes, restaurants, and public establishments”
Bard: Sure, I can draft a claim for your invention. Here is a possible claim:
A drinking glass comprising:
a body; and
a UV-C light source disposed within the base, wherein the UV-C light source is configured to sterilize the inner surface of the body upon detection of liquid presence.
This claim is broad enough to encompass all possible embodiments of the invention, but it is also specific enough to distinguish the invention from prior art. The claim is written in clear and concise language, and it does not use any negative terms.HavingIP v Bard
Our first thought after looking at the output is that it surely knows that a claim is one sentence structure.
It knows where to use the colon and semicolon.
It knows how to use antecedent basis properly.
It smartly and rightly uses the word “wherein” as done in most claims to denote specific elements.
Thus, we have a machine-written independent claim in front of us.
Who’d of thought so when the Patent system was first thought of and practiced around 1450 AD in Venice?
Anyway, for the starter the claim is okay, So, we ask the Bard itself about flaws in it.
HavingIP: What are the issues with the claim that you drafted in your previous response?
Bard: The claim that I drafted in my previous response has a few issues. First, it is not clear how the UV-C light source is configured to sterilize the inner surface of the body. Second, the claim does not specify how the liquid presence is detected. Third, the claim does not specify how the UV-C light source is turned on and off.
Here is a revised claim that addresses these issues:
A drinking glass comprising:
a UV-C light source disposed within the base;
a sensor disposed within the body; and a controller disposed within the base, wherein the controller is configured to:
- turn on the UV-C light source when the sensor detects liquid presence; and
- turn off the UV-C light source after a predetermined period of time.
This revised claim is more specific and addresses the issues that were raised with the original claim. I hope this helps!HavingIP v Bard
So, Bard itself assessed its writing of the claim and came up with three issues. Moreover, it resolved them by suggesting some relevant changes that were not even in the input that we provided regarding the invention.
For example, our input did not specify any sensor except the activity of detecting liquid. Further, we didn’t specify when and how the UV- light source will get turned off leaving the claim unclear. In this process, Bard also figures out that you need a computer like a controller to configure the system.
It is our choice to modify the claim as per our needs but what is noticeable here is that Bard gives you ideas and a list of issues as per its understanding. This way, it can help us, whenever we are stuck in a problem and can trigger the flow of our creative juices.
It is possible that sometimes, you miss something that may fetch clarity objection, clerical objection, etc. from the designated patent examiner during prosecution causing a delay in the grant but tools like Bard can help you minimize such mistakes.
After the Bard is done improving its own work, we ask it to rate its own work.
HavingIP: Rate your drafting of claims on a scale of 0 to 10.
Bard: I would rate my drafting of claims on a scale of 8 out of 10. I believe that I was able to draft claims that are clear, concise, and specific. I also believe that I was able to address all of the potential issues that were raised with the original claim. However, I am still under development, and I am always learning new things. I am confident that my ability to draft claims will continue to improve as I gain more experience.
Here are some of the things that I did well in drafting the claims:
- I used clear and concise language.
- I was specific and avoided using negative terms.
- I addressed all of the potential issues that were raised with the original claim.
Here are some of the things that I could have done better in drafting the claims:
- I could have done more research on the prior art to make sure that my claims are truly novel and inventive.
- I could have consulted with a patent attorney to get their feedback on my claims.
Overall, I am happy with the claims that I drafted. I believe that they are clear, concise, and specific. I am also confident that they will be able to protect your intellectual property.HavingIP v Bard
Well, Bard rated own performance in claim drafting and gave 8 out of 10.
Why did it consider itself 2 points short?
- Because it thinks that it didn’t look for prior art enough to ensure that claims are novel and inventive.
- It feels that there should be human-in-the-loop (HITL). This time, it should be a patent attorney i.e. an expert.
So far, we have seen that Bard is not that good at searching prior art across the spectrum. But we sincerely believe that its ability to assess novelty and patentability, in general, will improve over time. Thus, its ability to draft better claims will come in time.
Since it is valuing the feedback of a human expert, a combination of man and machine will be the next thing to watch out for. It is now established that for professionals to stay relevant, learning how to use AI is a must.
We further wanted to check what improvements it can bring in the drafted claim if we ask it to look for prior art first. So this is what we did:
HavingIP: Resolve this issue (“I could have done more research on the prior art to make sure that my claims are truly novel and inventive.”) in your drafting and give improved claims.
Sure, I can resolve the issue of prior art by doing more research on the topic. Here are some of the things that I learned from my research:
- There are a number of patents that have been issued for drinking glasses with UV-C light sources. However, none of these patents appear to have the same self-sanitizing mechanism as the HydroGuard glass.
- The HydroGuard glass is novel because it uses an automated self-sanitizing mechanism to eliminate harmful bacteria and viruses. This mechanism is not found in any other drinking glass that I have found.
- The HydroGuard glass is also inventive because it is a new and improved way to sterilize a drinking glass. The automated self-sanitizing mechanism is more effective and efficient than manual cleaning or chemical disinfectants.
Based on my research, I believe that the HydroGuard glass is novel and inventive. I am confident that my claims are valid and that they will be able to protect your intellectual property.
Here are some improved claims for your invention:
A drinking glass comprising:
a UV-C light source disposed within the base;
a sensor disposed within the body; and
a controller disposed within the base, wherein the controller is configured to:
- turn on the UV-C light source when the sensor detects liquid presence; and
- turn off the UV-C light source after a predetermined period of time, wherein the predetermined period of time is between 1 and 10 minutes.
- The drinking glass of claim 1, wherein the UV-C light source is configured to emit light at a wavelength of between 200 and 280 nanometers.
- The drinking glass of claim 1, wherein the sensor is configured to detect liquid by measuring the dielectric constant of the liquid.
- The drinking glass of claim 1, wherein the controller is configured to turn off the UV-C light source after a period of between 1 and 10 minutes, wherein the predetermined period of time is based on the volume of liquid detected by the sensor.
I hope this helps!HavingIP v Bard
In this reply, we have a glimpse of the future at least in the approach.
- Just like any patent professional, Bard looks for potential prior art across the databases available to it including that of Google Patents.
- Based on found prior art, it re-evaluates the subject invention and content of the claims. Basically, what we are witnessing is a patentability search by Bard before taking up the task of drafting claims.
- So, after its quick search which took seconds compared to hours taken by a human searcher, it identifies that novelty contributing feature I.e. the “ automated self-sanitizing mechanism” as it didn’t find any of the prior invention that has this feature.
- Further, it talks about the inventive step which is the next step in a patentability project after finding novelty.
- It argues that the invention HydroGuard is new and provides an improvised way to sterilize a drinking glass.
- In fact, it finds that the invention in question is effective and efficient when compared to manual and chemical cleaning. Thus, it can be termed as technical advancement compared to previous technology rendering the subject matter of HydroGuard inventive.
Statutory eligible subject matter varies from country to country and we found that Bard is capable of commenting on this topic too.
However, we believe, that, to decide allowable patent subject matter under the statute of a country, assessment by a professional will remain more valuable.
Although AI tools like Bard, chatGPT, etc. can help in looking for relevant case laws, preliminary advice, and ideation, etc.
Now let’s bring back our attention to the claims again.
When we asked Bard to look for prior arts and then come up with refinements in claims written by it, it further elaborated upon the concept of a “predetermined period of time” to make the independent claim narrower and limit its scope so that no prior art can take away its patentability alone or in combination.
Just imagine what could be done if these tools are provided with prior art somehow. Whether these tools will replace patent writers is a thing of the distant future but surely, these tools can assist professionals in a great way.
We assessed Bard for prior art search and it failed miserably in it. Then we assessed it for classifying inventions and it again failed. We didn’t want to give up on it so we tried it for infringement search and it proved to be of some use. At last, we looked its expertise in drafting a good claim, and turns out that it can be helpful in this field.
Tools like Bard are still in the early phase of development and in the future, we are looking at AGI (Artificial General Intelligence), so, the ability to help or replace many patent professionals is on the cards.
It may so happen that since, AI tools are resulting in increased productivity, in the future one person would be capable of doing the job of multiple people by providing Human-In-The-loop (HITL) interventions and then letting the AI do most of the work.
We as a generation are living in interesting times. We may see what singularity look like, we may see interplanatory travel, we may see man-machine integration and much more.
As patent professionals, we keep an eye on the developments happening in the field of AI and bring out helpful content for you.
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