Today, artificial Intelligence (AI) greatly simplifies the life of a modern person. AI enables technology and business development. Also, AI is widely used to process large quantities of data, computerize processes, and even to create works of art. It is not surprising that the impact of AI on the intellectual property is growing every year. Due to the fact that AI and intellectual property intersect in the field of processing electronic sources of information and databases, AI already finds application for the administration of intellectual property objects, translation of patent documents, etc.
Globally, the issue of the interaction policy between AI and intellectual property was raised by the World Intellectual Property Organization at the end of 2019. It received a wide response around the world. Therefore, since December 13, 2019, WIPO received more than 250 applications from companies, private individuals and patent offices, in response to the first draft of the document on the interaction of AI with intellectual property. As a result of this discussion, on May 29, 2020, WIPO published a second, expanded and amended version of the document.
In addition to patents, the second version of the document also covers such areas of intellectual property as copyright and neighbouring rights, industrial designs, trademarks and trade secrets.
Among the patent issues brought up for the discussion, the main ones are:
– Is it possible to specify AI as the author or applicant on the application? Can the AI be the owner of the patent? It is known that there have already been submitted European applications indicating AI as the author, but the European Patent Office has decided to refuse registration.
– Is it necessary to revise the principles of patent examination for inventions created by AI (in particular, compliance with the conditions of patentability)?
– Are disclosure rules applicable for AI inventions?
– Should inventions created by AI be patented at all (in view of the fact that AI does not require stimulation by the state and theoretically cannot use a monopoly)?
– Is the consideration of these issues premature, judging from the current scientific and political situation in the world?
As can be seen from this short list of issues, there was addressed an interesting and complex topic, which would require a solution in due time. In addition to improving human living standards, providing material wealth, etc., the movement of technological progress also necessitates the regulation of new types of legal conflicts. In this case, since AI are partially or fully autonomous programs, naturally, questions on their rights and obligations, including ones in the field of intellectual property, arise.
On June 7-9, 2020, WIPO will host another open virtual discussion on AI issues. We invite you to join it, and express your opinion in the comments.
More information from WIPO regarding AI:
Link for registration in the conference:
Link to the decision of the European Patent Office on application by AI: