Yunlai Zha

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Dr. Yunlai Zha is a technical specialist in the Intellectual Property Practice Group in the firm’s Silicon Valley office.

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Patent Protection on AI Inventions

In recent years, AI patent activity has exponentially increased. The figure below shows the volume of public AI patent applications categorized by AI component in the U.S. from 1990-2018. The eight AI components in FIG. 1 are defined in an article published in 2020 by the USPTO. Most of the AI components have experienced explosive … Continue Reading

Distinguish “Smart Contract” From Abstract Idea To Pass Blockchain Patentability Scrutiny

The Situation Smart contracts are often mentioned in blockchain-themed patent applications and recited in claims. However, Examiners without a thorough understanding of this concept or unfamiliar with blockchain technology often equate smart contracts with legal or commercial contracts stored on blockchains. As a result, the Examiners may find claims directed to merely applying the blockchain … Continue Reading

Blockchain Patentability Through The Lens Of A Recent PTAB Decision

Blockchain patent applications may be divided into two types: underlying technologies of blockchain, such as consensus methods, security, etc., and applications of blockchain in, e.g., fintech, legal, and other industries. In patent examination, the first type, because it recites underlying technology improvement, rarely elicits subject matter rejections. The second type, applications of blockchain, are often … Continue Reading
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