We have previously blogged about how artificial intelligence (AI) can improve customer experience here at the IPO. In part three of our AI series, our CEO Tim Moss shares what the IPO have been doing in the AI policy space.
AI and IP: Rising to the challenge
AI is changing the world around us, presenting a wealth of opportunities and raising thought-provoking questions. This is certainly true for intellectual property (IP). AI is being used to help write books, make music, paint and invent all sorts of things – in fact, AI is being used in a wide range of areas of innovation and creativity.
AI is built around the use of data to learn and develop. IP underpins all of these things and so AI is asking some questions about the IP framework on ownership, inventorship, authorship and liability, to name a few.
That’s why one of the IPO’s key priorities in our Corporate Plan is to understand the impact of future technology on the IP framework. We want the UK’s IP framework to incentivise the development and adoption of AI technologies. In doing so, supporting the wider government’s ambition of putting the UK at the forefront of the AI and data revolution.
We want to build on the government’s ambitious R&D Roadmap which includes support for traditionally R&D intensive industries and encourage growth in transformational new technology sectors such as AI. The government is committed to advancing the UK’s AI sector, which is estimated to add £630bn to the UK economy by 2025.
Paving the way in the international debate
We have increased our understanding of the opportunities that future technology can have on the IP framework through leading discussions with other offices. In June 2019, the IPO, in partnership with the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), hosted an international conference ‘AI: Decoding IP' at the iconic London Stadium. Since then, the UK has played a leading role in multilateral settings.
In July 2020, the IPO took part in the second session of the WIPO hosted conversation on IP and AI, identifying priority areas for further investigation and possible action.
AI patent applications
As I’ve mentioned, AI is already starting to pose some fundamental questions for IP. Various IP offices, including the IPO in the UK, have received AI applications. We rejected two patents that claimed an AI machine called DABUS was the inventor rather than a human being. The patent applicant appealed the decision not to grant. The Hearing officer upheld the decision but noted that 'there is a legitimate question as to how or whether the patent system should handle such inventions'.
We want to address this, and we need your ideas, expertise and insight.
Let us know what you think
Building on the 2019 AI and IP Summit and international conversations, we have published our ‘AI and IP Call for Views’. This asks a number of questions across the different IP rights and wider considerations.
We want to understand both the implications AI might have for IP policy and what IP might have for AI, in the near to medium future.
Your input will be essential for furthering our understanding of the commercial, economic, legal and social implication of AI and how the IP framework can incentivise the development and adoption of AI technologies.
Help us shape the UK’s domestic framework and position the UK as thought leaders in the AI and IP international debate. The call for views is open until 30 November. Submit your views now.