& AI

Artificial intelligence (AI) can be used to help medical professionals to perform diagnoses, by applying innovative algorithms to real-world data obtained from patients. Along with fields such as bioinformatics and digital health, this is an area of technology which is rapidly growing as a result of the development of the underlying core AI and machine learning techniques.

Computer-aided diagnosis can be used alongside (or instead of) more traditional medical techniques in order to help doctors to diagnose a range of conditions without the need for any form of invasive surgery, ultimately greatly improving the efficiency of the diagnostic process. Diagnosis is not the only scenario in which AI and machine learning techniques can be used to provide better results, more quickly: the same techniques can also be applied in order to predict an overall prognosis for a patient, as well as to predict their response to a particular course of treatment. As the amount of available data increases, and more sophisticated algorithms and machine learning models are developed, these tools will become more effective.

Methods of diagnosis performed on the human or animal body, and computer programs are two types of invention which are per se generally excluded from patent protection in the UK and Europe. However, our attorneys at Mewburn Ellis have a deep understanding of the law, and the considerations which apply when patenting inventions in these fields, ensuring that an invention is not dismissed as being a computer program or a method of diagnosis. This detailed knowledge of the law, along with a multi-disciplinary team including attorneys from both our software/computing and life sciences teams means that we are able to maximize our clients’ chances of obtaining patent protection in these fields.

Open pages of Eng Opp Report

Special Report

EPO Opposition Trends in Engineering, Electronics and Software

In autumn 2020, we analysed more than 8000 opposition cases filed at the European Patent Office (EPO) over the last 12 years, studying the timelines for hundreds of engineering, electronics and software oppositions.

The research enabled us to see how oppositions have been affected by procedural changes at the European Patent Office and by the Covid-19 pandemic. With a focus on Transport, Medical Devices, Telecommunications and Software, the report also looks at how opposition outcomes vary across the four different technology sectors and which players are the most active.

Download the Report

Read our Blogs

The HPV vaccine: the global success of prioritising women’s health

The HPV vaccine: the global success of prioritising women’s health

by Alice Jefferies

Let's talk about the HPV vaccine - a revolutionary drug and global strategy that proved how investing in and raising awareness about women's health benefits everyone.

How data changed our understanding and care of breast cancer

How data changed our understanding and care of breast cancer

by Camille Terfve

Breast cancer does not only affect women, but it mostly affects them1. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK. Yet in England, about 3 in 4 women diagnosed with breast cancer will go on to ...

Medical devices: Insights through IP - new report 2024

Medical devices: Insights through IP - new report 2024

by Joanna Smith

We are delighted to release our latest report Medical devices: Insights through IP which looks at the recent IP trends in the medical devices sector.

Endometriosis - research, diagnosis and treatment progress

Endometriosis - research, diagnosis and treatment progress

by Fay Allen

March is Endometriosis Action Month, and this year’s focus is on raising awareness.

Can AI help to improve the biopsy process for patients?

Can AI help to improve the biopsy process for patients?

by Callum Anderson

In medicine, a biopsy is a procedure that involves taking a small sample of body tissue so it can be examined under a microscope. This procedure is quite common in diagnosis or assessing the severity ...

Robotics in surgery

Robotics in surgery

by Daniel Brodsky

For many, the word ‘surgery’ suggests images of surgeons operating with handheld instruments through an open incision in the body. However, in many cases now the reality of surgery is quite ...

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Forward Magazines Overlapping 8

Mewburn Ellis


Mewburn Ellis Forward is a biannual publication that celebrates the best of innovation and exploration. Through its pages we hope to inform and entertain, but also to encourage discussion about the most compelling developments taking place in the scientific and entrepreneurial world. Along the way, we’ll engage with the IP challenges that international organisations face every day.