Michael Petricone 

All right, the word magic. All right, everybody. Welcome to CES. We hope you're having a wonderful afternoon. We are lucky to have with us this afternoon, the person responsible for maintaining the world's greatest and most pro innovation patent system. In his role as Undersecretary of commerce for intellectual property, and director of the United States Patent trademark office, Andrei Iancu, oversees nearly 13,000 employees, including some 9000 patent trademark examiner's who work to secure the IP rights of inventors and fulfill the constitutional mandate to promote the progress of science and the useful arts. We only have a short period of time, so we're going to make the most of it and we're going to go very quickly. So Director Iancu, the USPTO has a very impressive booth at the entrance to Eureka Park, which everybody here should visit and everybody here should see because it's great. So what I want to know is how the entrepreneurs in Eureka Park been engaged with your office during the show.

 
Andrei Iancu 

Great. Thanks. First of all, Michael, thanks for having me. This is a phenomenal conference. So happy to be here. So our presence at Eureka Park i think is a critically important component of the entire innovation and entrepreneurship process that takes place right in front of our eyes right here. You have entrepreneurs, inventors who are in the midst and heavily engaged in the innovation process right in front of our eyes, they need to protect that new technology that they're coming up with. They need to know how to do that. At the very minimum, they need to know that these are questions that you must ask. So the booth allows for them to come by, ask questions be directed to to our website and to our programs that we have and enable them to protect that critically important technology that they come up with and it's so precious for them and for their companies. That's fantastic. So you've had the opportunity to Walk around Eureka Park and walk around the show floor. Are there any particular innovations have caught your eye? Well, that's a great question. There's so many. And I'm loath to single one specific one out. But I will just say that what's what's really incredible is what we see on the floor here is what we see at the patent office, which is a great convergence of technology. So you no longer have just car companies and automotive innovation. You now have tech, they are now tech companies on wheels to some extent, biotechnology in combination with artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles and transportation when you talk about that, that, again, is software engineering, in combination with mechanical engineering, that is so clear as you walk around this conference nowadays, and we see that at the patent office, from our statistics. Obviously a lot of artificial intelligence that we We see here on the floor, obviously a lot of transportation that we see and a lot of healthcare innovation as well, those have caught my eyes as well.

 
Michael Petricone 

So let's talk more about that. What's interesting is over the course of the week of every CES, kind of the technology theme of that CES slowly emerges. And I think the technology theme for the CES is going to be artificial intelligence, because you see it everywhere from from personal health care to self driving cars. And this is also something that USPTO has focused considerable attention on lately. What are the challenges that exist for a patent system as more inventions come in the artificial intelligence space?

 
Andrei Iancu 

So obviously, we have dealt with patents in the artificial intelligence space for a long time. What is new now is that some AI machines are claiming to be creating innovation on their own, to some extent independent of human interaction for that specific innovation. We have already received at least a couple of patent applications that are claimed to have have been invented only by the machine. It is super interesting. The policy questions that are posed by that, under current US law, only a human being can be an inventor, does that need to change? We are posing these questions to the public right now into ourselves in government should a patent issue to a machine. If a machine can be an inventor, who then would be the owner of that patent that issues that machine? That's a little bit odd to think about machines owning things. So these are interesting questions. We have posed these questions to the public through a request for information. We've received a lot of information back from industry. We are now in the process of compiling that information and will issue a reports hopefully in the next few months, and then we'll discuss inside the administration what what we think the right approaches will work with Congress as well and see if anything happens be changed.

 
Michael Petricone 

This is important because you need to make sure that that incentives exist to create the kind of AI systems that are going to cure cancer and come up with credible solutions to global warming.

 
Andrei Iancu 

Absolutely, we need to make sure that the incentives are appropriately balanced. But there's some very interesting questions that are posed. The two main prop the two main basis for a patent system are number one, you want to incentivize innovation. Number two, you want to protect the fruits of that innovation. If a machine is the one doing the invention, does the machine need that incentive from Abaddon, so silly. The machine is sitting there and saying, Oh, I'm gonna get the patent. I gotta invent more now. It's kind of odd to think in those terms. Now, the truth of the matter is that most of these things, if not all of them, right now, humans are involved at all stages. A human being or group of human beings have already, you know, designed the the A Technology, human beings have trained the AI technology human beings have set it on a task. So I don't get by that machines are completely inventing autonomously right now. So what we want to make sure that we do is that we have a patent system that protects all forms of human input innovation. And in particular, in today's world, obviously, artificial intelligence innovation created by humans as well.

 
Michael Petricone 

Such a fascinating issue. I believe you're out of time. We could talk about this for another hour. This is outstanding. And I appreciate all of your good work in making sure that our patent system evolves, the technology evolved with the time and remains the world strongest.

 
Andrei Iancu 

Thank you so much. Thank you for having me.

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