Artificial Intelligence Enhances Prior Art Search

POSTED BY Ken Statler AT 12:51 P.M. September 29, 2017

Artificial Intelligence is no longer the stuff of science fiction. It’s being used in a wide variety of industries to drive innovation and efficiency. In fact, Microsoft has just identified AI as a top priority and expects it to drive business in the future. 1 In the world of Prior Art Searching, the industry is just beginning to move past keyword searching and semantic processing tools. ipCG recently began utilizing AI to improve the quality and relevance of search results that support FTO Opinions and Market Clearance Reports.

How AI Enhances Prior Art Search

To be clear, AI has not yet replaced expert human IP search professionals!  And we don’t expect that it will any time soon. However, AI has had a notable and measurable impact on how prior art searches are executed and the accuracy and quality of the resulted they yield. 2

Traditional IP searches are driven by search terms based on relatively static semantic extractions or input by human subject area experts. This can lead to result that are influenced by searcher bias, requires access to experts in the field (if they are available) and can be expensive. AI supplants bias and is agnostic to technology, looking for trends and correlations that even the experts may not see, allowing for more relevant results, faster.

This broader, yet more focused approach using by AI also enhances the likelihood that Prior Art will be discovered in parallel or tangential technology spaces that may not have otherwise been discovered. The ability of AI to see past convoluted language and obfuscation is critical to discovering relevant but possibly non-obvious Prior Art in other domains.

Along with finding Prior Art that was once hidden, by learning the content of the art, AI can follow technology and concept threads that would be otherwise invisible to a human searcher. This process uncovers deeper concepts over a larger dataset than static search terms and allows for the prioritization of search results based on depth of relevance and impact on novelty.

The use of AI in combination with human searchers allows for a more expansive yet higher quality discussion of prior art exposure. This improves the confidence in risk mitigation relative to FTO Prior Art Searches and strengthens determinations of Novelty.

About ipCapital Group

ipCapital Group is a leading global IP Strategy firm. For over 20 years, we have served clients from start-up to Fortune 500 with strategic approaches to IP creation, management and monetization.

Please contact Ken Statler at or (802) 859-7800 x288 to discuss your specific needs.


1 – Microsoft will ride artificial intelligence, cloud computing to higher share price, Morgan Stanley says, Tae Kim, CNBC, June 19, 2017

2 – The Role of Artificial Intelligence in Intellectual Property, Tyron Stading, IPWatchdog, July 27, 2017