IPGAIN (Intellectual Property Global Artificial Intelligence Network), created by IP Australia, is a worldfirst marketplace providing global access to pioneering artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) tools. IPGAIN is like an app store, sharing ground breaking technology that solves challenges unique to the IP community. This initiative is driving collaboration and reducing duplication between national IP offices, to improve quality and consistency across the global IP community.
Intangible assets including intellectual property (IP) are the new fuel of the global economy, now making up 87% of the S&P 500. As the value of intangible assets continues to rise, so does a government’s role in supporting its businesses and innovators to maximise value. IP Australia is delivering innovative initiatives to keep pace with the increasingly complex global IP system.
In September 2019, IP Australia launched IP GAIN (Intellectual Property Global Artificial Intelligence Network), an innovative marketplace providing global access to technology solutions for the IP ecosystem. IP GAIN is a simple and secure service that can expose IP Australia’s, other IP Offices’ and third-parties’ AI and machine learning ML tools. It enables partners to co-design and contribute to the development of future AI and ML tools, as well as increasing IP Offices’ capabilities in AI governance and ethics.
The Australian Government through IP Australia is an active participant in the international IP system, led by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Working through WIPO committees IP Australia saw an opportunity to enable sharing and co-development of cutting-edge technology across all IP Offices, from developing nations to the most advanced, to democratise digital innovation in IP administration.
The goals for the IP GAIN prototype have been broken into two phases. The goal for the first phase was to create an application store or marketplace for AI and ML tools that support the IP ecosystem. The goal for the second phase is collaborative problem solving and solution delivery through continuous improvement and new co-development opportunities.
The benefits for the international IP ecosystem are three-fold:
1. an agile, scalable and cloud hosted solution that allows IP Offices and third parties to expose and collaborate on AI and ML tools and services that solve niche problems and significant challenges associated with the IP sector.
2. reduce the duplication of effort where currently several countries are allocating significant financial and people resources to solve the same problems. IP GAIN shares AI/ML tools to support and enhance the capability of smaller IP Offices, particularly in less technologically advanced countries to fast track capability.
3. increase transparency of office progress and practices while delivering co-developed solutions to commonly faced IP centric business problems using AI/ML tools, leading to enhanced quality and consistency of business practice and approach.
IP Australia has completed a prototype of IP GAIN with the Intellectual Property Office of the United Kingdom. The initial service testing will then be expanded to include the Canadian IP Office.
IP Australia is exploring ways to maximise the potential of the IP GAIN initiative by exposing it to the organisation’s other AI and ML tools and services, including Trade Mark Assist and Patents Preliminary Automated Search.
There is also great potential to support a connected government in Australia by increasing collaboration through this global AI platform.
What Makes Your Project Innovative?
IP GAIN democratises IP Office collaboration on digital solutions.
1. it is a digital marketplace specifically designed to create efficiencies in the IP process by solving niche problems collaboratively with bespoke tools that are then shared for the entire global IP community to use and benefit from
2. all stakeholders can choose how to implement the tool to support their business processes while maintaining quality and consistency across an entire ecosystem
3. it is designed to allow third parties (private sector and government) to expose their tools and services to the wide-reaching IP ecosystem.
4. tools and services are delivered in browser-based and API forms that enable developing nations and more technically established nations alike to benefit from AI/ML solutions.
5. it distributes development and testing resources across geographical boundaries.
What is the current status of your innovation?
As at the time of submission, this project has already completed discovery, ideation and business case validation. We are now at the stage of implementing a prototype working with the IP Offices of UK and Canada specifically. Evaluation of the implemented prototype will use a variety of methods, including quantitative platform analytics and qualitative interviews.
Collaborations & Partnerships
The IP GAIN prototype has been tested with the Intellectual Property Office of the United Kingdom (UKIPO). The UKIPO collaborated with IP Australia to develop aesthetic and technical enhancements that will be factored into the final product. This has enhanced a long-standing partnership with the UKIPO.
Users, Stakeholders & Beneficiaries
IP Owners: use of this service increases quality and consistency in IP Offices, which delivers benefits and efficiencies directly to IP owners.
IP Offices: shared access via the marketplace reduces resource outlay by individual national offices, creates greater scope for co-development and increases quality and consistency.
IP Professionals: access to tools will allow streamlining of their own processes whether through API integration or plug and play through browser-based user interfaces.
Results, Outcomes & Impacts
The development of AI/ML tools that support the administration of IP rights requires many resources, from financial and people to data and technology integration. Not all IP Offices have access to these.
In developing IP GAIN our intent is to enable access to and accelerate the development of AI/ML solutions whilst reducing duplication and encouraging collaborative and novel approaches through co-development opportunities.
The IP GAIN initiative will support smaller IP Offices in accessing AI/ML tools that will enhance their capability. Through the adoption of these tools, there is also the added benefit of adopting a common and consistent approach to the administration of IP rights. This brings about greater harmonisation of the IP ecosystem that enables innovators to easily commercialise their ideas globally.
Challenges and Failures
The greatest challenge of implementing any international collaboration initiative is the time it takes to break down long established operating silos.
The IP ecosystem is small and niche, but the institutions and practices are often old and legacy. Many IP Offices don’t necessarily have access to the same resources to support the development of AI/ML tools, for example, high-quality labelled data, that other large sectors such as insurance or finance have access to.
Breaking down these silos through IP GAIN creates a community where IP Offices can pool their resources to solve common business problems. This provides not only access to greater volumes of data, a key prerequisite for AI/ML, but also input from a greater diversity of users of the global IP ecosystem.
Conditions for Success
The two critical conditions for success are leadership and supporting infrastructure.
1. Leadership is critical in bringing IP offices with different motivations and business problems together to collaborate.
2. Cloud-based infrastructure enabled the team to develop the IP GAIN platform and associated AI and ML tools in an agile manner.
Self-service and the ability to configure infrastructure and services enable the team to rapidly respond to requirements and feedback from users. Furthermore, the scalability provided by cloud-based infrastructure enabled the team to meet the IP GAIN changes in demand and workloads.
The IP GAIN AI/ML collaboration platform also presents opportunities to reduce duplication and pool resources and promote innovation across the Australian Public Service when developing AI/ML tools. Realising the benefit of collaboration to streamline service delivery and reduce the administrative burden to Australia citizens is part of the development roadmap for IP GAIN.
There are 3 main lessons learned through IP GAIN.
1. Leadership is essential – Collaborating to solve common technology problems has often been a challenge for International IP Offices (including IP Australia) because the focus has always been on the delivery of the IP system. Significant effort and leadership were needed to create the collaboration forums for ICT innovation across the IP ecosystem.
2. Problems shared are problems halved - by working together across geographical boundaries we’re learning and getting better outcomes for everyone, not just the IP Offices involved. Working together is taking the burden off individual offices and sharing the load.
3. Machine learning is more than just technology – through technology collaboration we have been able achieve additional synergy in governance, ethics, people capability and culture. Success has been the combination of these skills, not just the technology outcomes.
Robert Bollard, IP Australia’s Chief Information Officer and the General Manager of the Innovation and Technology Group was named the highest ranked government CIO and No 4 overall in the Australian CIO magazine Top50 for 2019.
- Implementation - making the innovation happen
5 August 2020