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[D] How patentable are domain-specific ML applications?

I’ve built a Mask RCNN-based tool for processing images in a specific scientific sub-domain (that has commercial applications). I was all set to submit it to The Journal of Open Source Software — however, my research group is funded by a large, deep-pocketed company that shall not be named. After months of not responding to multiple emails about the project and my intent to publish it, they’ve decided at the last minute that they want to “look into its patentability.”

What is the likelihood that this is a patentable application? (It may be relevant that I didn’t write the Mask R-CNN model from scratch — I use an implementation that is MIT-licensed.)

In general, how patentable are domain-specific ML applications (where the ML is not novel)?

submitted by /u/pedalstiffcranks
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Toronto AI is a social and collaborative hub to unite AI innovators of Toronto and surrounding areas. We explore AI technologies in digital art and music, healthcare, marketing, fintech, vr, robotics and more. Toronto AI was founded by Dave MacDonald and Patrick O'Mara.