AI and IP: UK IPO Consultation on copyright and patents

Readers may remember from the IPKat in conversation with Tim Moss, CEO of the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) that the IPO is continuing their consideration of artificial intelligence (AI) and intellectual property, which launched last year with a call for views and Government Response on AI and IP. 


Following on from this, the government has today - Friday 29th October - announced the launch of a new consultation specifically on how the copyright and patent systems should deal with AI. Submit your views before 7th January 2022. Full details below:

Artificial Intelligence and IP: Consultation on copyright and patents legislation

This consultation is seeking evidence and views on: 

·        The extent to which patents and copyright should protect inventions and creative works made by AI

·        Measures to make it easier to use copyright protected material in AI development, supporting innovation and research.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a transformative technology and is already revolutionising many areas of our lives. It can be a powerful tool for scientists, entrepreneurs, and artists, enabling new inventions and creations. 

The Government wants the UK to be at the forefront of this revolution, to encourage innovation in AI technology and promote its use for the public good.  At the same time, we want to preserve the central role of intellectual property (IP) in promoting human creativity and innovation.  

The Government has previously sought views on the interaction of AI and IP  and the impact of AI on the IP framework. Questions were raised about the balance in the copyright system between the protection of human works and AI works, and the use of copyright material in machine learning. For patents, issues were identified that could stifle innovation as the use of AI systems increases.   

We are now seeking evidence and views on a range of options for possible changes to patent and copyright law which may address these issues. 

The Consultation is led by the Intellectual Property Office (IPO), and is one of the Government’s commitments within its recently launched Innovation Strategy to help ensure the UK’s IP environment continues to lead the world. 

Science Minister George Freeman said: “As one of the most digitally advanced economies, we want to create the best environment for artificial intelligence companies and innovators by ensuring our copyright and patent system is a catalyst for them to thrive, making the UK the natural home for ground-breaking research and development. Our intellectual property regime is one of the most highly-regarded in the world. This consultation – led by the Intellectual Property Office – will help ensure we keep pace with global change, matching our shared ambitions to make the UK an innovation nation.”

Digital Minister Chris Philp said: “Making sure our rules around intellectual property and technology are fit for the digital age is at the heart of our new AI Strategy, which aims to cement the UK's place as a global AI superpower. Through this review we will make sure we can encourage investment in technology and innovation so we can all benefit from the brightest and best creative ideas of tomorrow.”

Image: Riana Harvey

The IPO’s Chief Executive Tim Moss said: “The UK is considered one of the best IP environments in the world. To help keep it that way we are looking ahead to embrace the challenges that AI brings, and the opportunities to unleash innovation’s potential. An accessible, efficient and balanced IP system is a powerful tool in helping innovation and creativity to flourish. The technology that human innovation has created has evolved. That technology can now act in the innovation process, and it is already clear that the role of AI will become increasingly prominent across different industries and wider society. Your views will inform the discussions that will help shape our future, and through this consultation it is vital that we hear them.”

AI Council Chair, Tabitha Goldstaub said: "The AI Council welcomes the launch of today's consultation on copyright and patents legislation. Thinking about the challenges AI poses to IP and ensuring people are rewarded appropriately for their inventiveness and creativity is vital for innovation to flourish. The AI Council looks forward to supporting an open dialogue and exchange of ideas between industry, academia and government on this important topic."

The consultation will last for 10 weeks, ending on 7 January 2022. 

Further information about the consultation and how to respond are published on the IPO website.

AI and IP: UK IPO Consultation on copyright and patents AI and IP: UK IPO Consultation on copyright and patents Reviewed by Hayleigh Bosher on Friday, October 29, 2021 Rating: 5

1 comment:

  1. What externally vetted AI Ethics regimen will IPKAT / IPO be considering as guidance for future policy decisions? Will the IEEE Ethically-Aligned Design document (EAD1e), or the EU's Coordinated Plan on Artificial Intelligence 2021 Review be considered as part of the framework?

    The issue of Ethical AI is of world-wide concern, and as such, it should be considered of grave importance to employ as many viewpoints as possible to prevent myopic business-centric, monopolistic issues as has plagued Ethical AI deployment in the U.S. in recent years.

    My advice is to cast as wide a net as possible to gather those considerations, but definitely examine those initiatives from across the globe which are less profit-centric to avoid conflicts of interest spoiling your considered judgement.


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