The German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA) has a conference on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Intellectual Property (IP) rights recently. The theme of the conference was to determine to what extent the creations and inventions of AI are patentable. There are a few clear points, but many questions remain unanswered, like:
- Who owns AI-generated works and inventions?
- Who is liable for AI creations that violate the rights of others?
- Can AI author and copyright their creations?
Some say AI is the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and only time will tell what the new rules are for this Brave New World. One thing is apparent, the overwhelming amount of productivity and creativity that AI is producing. AI and IP are issues that will have to be worked out in the courts.
Can AI hold copyrights or patents?
IP protection refers to patents, trademarks, copyright and industrial design. Currently, AI is not able to qualify as a legal entity with rights. Ultimately, AI is just another tool. A hammer cannot patent its carpentry work, neither can AI patent or copyright what it produces. AI can assist humans as inventors and creators, but only humans can currently hold intellectual property rights.
If in the future AI is granted some degree of legal status, then it could theoretically be an inventor and a patent holder. For the time being, that day has not arrived.
Making sure your intellectual property rights are protected
Intellectual property promotes and protects new ideas and creativity. As a result, investors and entrepreneurs should be aware of key IP issues as they relate to AI development. The human factor is currently key, and patents require the necessity for human involvement. In the context of AI, the legal safeguard has not yet advanced as rapidly as the technology, which necessitates careful IP portfolio management from early on.
When considering the involvement of AI when seeking a patent, it can be beneficial to have professional guidance that is experienced in intellectual property rights here in Georgia.