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IBM AI Medicine Patents Science

IBM Watson To Battle Patent Trolls 93

Posted by samzenpus
from the battle-of-the-ages dept.
MrSeb writes "IBM's Watson is made of many parts: speech recognition, natural language processing, machine learning, and data mining. All of these factors were perfectly combined to beat Ken Jennings in Jeopardy, and now each of these components are slowly finding their way into other applications. Health plan company WellPoint, for example, is using Watson to investigate patient records to improve diagnosis, and in a self-referential, possibly universe-destroying twist, IBM itself is using Watson to help sell Watson (and other IBM products) to other companies. Now, using Watson's data mining and natural language talents, IBM has created the Strategic IP Insight Platform, or SIIP, a tool that has already scanned millions of medical patents and journals for the sake of improving drug discovery — and in the future, it's easy to see how the same tool could be used to battle patent trolling, too."
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IBM Watson To Battle Patent Trolls

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  • by White Flame (1074973) on Thursday December 08, 2011 @08:19PM (#38310142)

    It seems that the only person saying that Watson *could* be used "to battle patent trolls" is the last article's author. Nobody else has said that IBM or any customer using Watson is actually pursuing this use.

  • Or maybe... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ewanm89 (1052822) on Thursday December 08, 2011 @08:19PM (#38310144) Homepage
    ...it could could be used to help manage that patent portfolio and find great targets to file a suit against.
  • by giorgist (1208992) on Thursday December 08, 2011 @08:24PM (#38310194)
    What is the business sense for IBM to do so, or the patent department ?
    We as a society should insist the patent business gets cleaned up dramatically because innovation is getting bogged down.
    Soon I would not be able to make a toast because it is somewhat rectangular with rounded edges and flat.
  • Risk (Score:5, Insightful)

    by stephanruby (542433) on Thursday December 08, 2011 @08:28PM (#38310238)

    — and in the future, it's easy to see how the same tool could be used to battle patent trolling, too."

    and it's also easy to see how the same tool could be used to automatically generate even more patents.

    After all, since we've already seen that computers can randomly generate fake nonsensical Physics research [science20.com] papers and get them published in real Science Journals. We're not so far off that they'll be able to do the same with patent claims. It would be just like a turing test, but only easier since real patent legal language is already designed to obfuscate the obvious -- it would be easy to have a computer mimic it.

  • by Nikker (749551) on Thursday December 08, 2011 @08:49PM (#38310394)
    The ultimate question would be answered if Watson himself realized he was a junk patent ;)
  • by DragonWriter (970822) on Thursday December 08, 2011 @08:50PM (#38310408)

    What is the business sense for IBM to do so, or the patent department ?

    For IBM, there's plenty of incentive for them to do find grounds for challenging every patent that isn't held by IBM (though little incentive for them to reveal those grounds until the patent is used in way which hurts IBMs business.)

    For the patent office, determining what is and isn't patentable under the law and only approving applications for the former category is their job, so an automated tool that makes it easier to make that determination correctly would be in their interest.

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