AI can significantly reduce the amount of human effort required to achieve the expected result. However, the issues of interpretation of AI content are still open, if not to say that they have only aggravated his proactive approach allowing rights holders to respond promptly and take appropriate legal actions to protect their IP. We face complex dilemmas and problems. Effective strategies are imperative for navigating the complex terrain of AI.
The Rise of AI-Generated Creative Works
Current laws grant copyright to human creators, even when using computers as creative tools. However, AI-generated works challenge these norms, leading to debates on who should be the rightful owner of the copyright – the individual providing input to the AI, the AI developer, or even the AI itself.
Furthermore, the originality of AI-generated works is also a matter of contention. Given that these works are predominantly generated by AI without human input, it can be argued that they lack the required human creativity for copyright protection. This position suggests that the output should not be protected by copyright and should be freely available for use by anyone. However, an alternative perspective suggests that AI-generated works can be considered original if they result from human input and guidance.
AI’s impact on patent law is also noteworthy. AI simplifies the process of developing new inventions, as it can account for a vast amount of prior art and assist in drafting patent applications. The once seemingly futuristic concept of generating ideas, dictating them into a personal device, and utilizing AI to draft and file patent applications is now becoming a reality. However, concerns arise regarding the potential flood of new patents resulting from AI, which may pose challenges for businesses aiming to innovate and navigate the patent landscape.
IP Infringement by AI
When AI mimics the voice or personality of a celebrity or public figure, it may infringe upon the right of publicity or personality rights, particularly in jurisdictions where such rights exist.
Consider the example of AI algorithms employed by companies to scrape copyrighted content from the internet, repurposing it for their purposes. Getty Images, a provider of visual content, has initiated IP infringement claims against Stability AI, a company specializing in AI-driven image recognition and analysis, in both the UK and the US. The dispute centers around Stability AI’s alleged unauthorized use of numerous copyrighted images from Getty’s extensive collection to train its AI algorithms.
According to Getty Images, Stability AI downloaded a significant number of copyrighted images from its website. No licenses or permits were obtained.
Relationship Between AI and Intellectual Property
AI can also pose a risk to trade secrets, a vital aspect of IP. The risk of losing intellectual property comes from the fact that AI uses all the data that falls into it. Even if it is classified information, AI will rely on it and may reveal some trade secrets.
Addressing the challenges associated with AI, data privacy, and IP requires implementing a multi-pronged strategy. Given the novelty of the current situation, IP lawyers require assistance to stay updated.
One recent collaborative project conducted by the Center for Intellectual Property and Competition Law at the University of Zurich and the Swiss Intellectual Property Institute aims to provide some clarity. Their initial recommendations include the following:
The legal classification should acknowledge AI systems as “inventors,” denoting the originator of a technological piece. This classification would encompass the creation of novel proteins or code fragments, which could then be protected under patent law.
Human authorship should be given precedence as the primary criterion for being recognized as the “owner” of intellectual property. In other words, AI-generated content without significant human creative contributions would not be eligible for copyright protection.
Granting copyright protection for content collectively created by an AI system and a natural person is feasible, provided that the human contribution exhibits sufficient creativity.
Furthermore, companies ought to have the ability to claim ownership of AI-generated and patentable IP, with the AI designated as an inventor, as previously described. It is unnecessary to establish new IP rights specifically for AI output; however, if the prevalence of AI-generated intellectual property with minimal human authorship increases, stakeholders may reconsider this approach.
Research necessitates permissive protection “carve-outs” for AIs drawing from existing IP sources. In other words, it is not advantageous to create an environment where AI owners could face lawsuits for unintentional copyright or patent law infringements.
In addition, a new legal framework should be established for the utilization of personal and non-personal data. Minimizing harm and risks of privacy violations should be a priority.
White House Expresses Concern
In their AI Risk Management Framework, the US government’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) proposed that responsible uses and practices of AI can be driven by AI risk management. This prompts organizations and their internal teams involved in AI design, development, and deployment to critically assess context and consider potential positive and negative impacts.
The concerns echoed by the NIST report align with those expressed in the government’s 2023 White House National Cybersecurity Strategy. It further highlights that the introduction of artificial intelligence systems, which can behave unexpectedly even to their creators, increases complexity and risk in crucial technological systems.
Given the prioritization of cybersecurity both domestically and about foreign threats, it becomes imperative for companies to proactively design and implement AI systems. A report from the University of Pennsylvania’s Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning Risk & Security Working Group (AIRS) suggests several practices to mitigate AI risk.
Impact of AI on IP
The impact of utilizing an AI-powered tool on intellectual property (IP) rights relies on the specific application of the technology. Here are several potential scenarios:
— Product Development: If an AI-powered co-pilot assists in developing a novel product, it can result in fresh innovations. Careful consideration of IP strategies and patent filings becomes crucial for safeguarding rights.
— Trade Secrets: Strict access management and robust security measures are paramount in safeguarding sensitive data.
— Data Privacy: The collection and use of confidential data raise privacy, data protection, and ownership concerns.
AI Tools for Intellectual Property Rights
It is AI’s ability to analyze vast amounts of data that makes it valuable. To protect intellectual property rights, data processing is precisely what is needed, so AI will be useful here. We can say that AI created the problem, but they help solve it.
Here are some noteworthy examples:
— Patent search tools leverage AI to analyze extensive data. They identify priority data and help you find what you need. The search process using AI requires significantly fewer resources and time.
— Trademark search tools and their patent counterparts tap. AI can not only find identical trademarks all over the world but also their analogs. Some AI tools allow you to set the degree of deviation from the original. For example, AI will be able to find a logo if it is simply upside down or in a mirror image. The final result must be sorted by a human, but this is still better than a manual search.
— Copyright monitoring tools employ AI to scour the internet for possibly infringing uses of copyrighted works. Therefore, you will be able to take action against unauthorized use of content.
— Trade secret identification tools utilize AI to analyze company data and identify potential trade secrets. This increases a company’s ability to counter external threats and protect its privacy.
— IP portfolio management tools based on AI.
Not all AI can handle content that is geographically restricted. To make your search more comprehensive and objective, you should use a VPN. This will allow you to analyze those regions that you do not have access to by default. If you’re worried about Internet speed with VPN, don’t be. Slow Internet can only happen if you have a bad VPN provider or are connected to an overloaded or remote server. Both problems can be solved in an elementary way.
The essence of all tools for protecting intellectual property rights using AI is smart information search. Big data and machine learning have made it possible to sort through such large pools of information that people would never have attempted before. This cannot be done without human labor, but AI can significantly narrow the search range.
With the advent of AI, the boundaries of intellectual property have been somewhat dissolved. There is less and less clarity about what is intellectual property and what is public property. Now the AI-created content can also be interpreted in different ways. Along with the threats from AI, a solution has come, but it must be applied by the copyright holders themselves.
The more clarity legislation brings to issues of intellectual property and the boundaries of the use of AI, the faster we will see a new world. AI has the potential to greatly enhance creativity, but it’s still in its early stages. Gradually we will come to greater clarity and judicial precedents will help us. This path may be a bit rocky, but it is necessary to ensure that everyone has a common understanding of the role of AI.