Patenting Patterns in Artificial Intelligence: Identifying National and International Breeding Grounds

Matheus Eduardo Leusin*, Jutta Günther, Björn Jindra, Martin G. Moehrle

*Corresponding author for this work

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This paper identifies countries at the forefront of Artificial Intelligence (AI) development and proposes two novel patent-based indicators to differentiate structural differences in the patterns of intellectual property (IP) protection observed for AI across countries. In particular, we consider (i) the extent to which countries specialise in AI and are relevant markets for corresponding IP protection (‘National Breeding Ground’); and (ii) the extent to which countries attract AI from abroad for IP protection and extend the protection of their AI-related IP to foreign markets (‘International Breeding Ground’). Our investigation confirms prior findings regarding substantial changes in the technological leadership in AI, besides drastic changes in the relevance of AI techniques over time. Particularly, we find that National and International Breeding Grounds overlap only partially. China and the US can be characterised as dominant National Breeding Grounds. Australia and selected European countries, but primarily the US, are major International Breeding Grounds. We conclude that China promotes AI development with a major focus on IP protection in its domestic market, whereas the US sustains its AI progress in the international context as well. This might indicate a considerable bifurcation in the structural patterns of IP protection in global AI development.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101988
JournalWorld Patent Information
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2020


  • Artificial intelligence
  • Digitalisation
  • Patent analysis
  • International comparison
  • Specialisation

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