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March 29, 2021
The Government says that the responses to its call for views came from a range of owners and users of IP rights, including firms and individuals producing AI technology, those using AI technology in the innovative or creative process, and right holders whose rights may be infringed by AI. It also received a number of responses from academics and interested members of the public.
The Government says that many responses pictured a positive future where intelligent computers support human researchers, creators, and inventors in developing new technologies, and had opinions on how IP could encourage and support this. However, there were also warnings that AI could take the humanity out of the creative process and harm the human creators that IP is designed to protect and reward.
In many areas there was general agreement that the present framework could meet the challenges of the future. There was also a consensus that AI itself should not own IP rights, but there were different opinions on whether works or inventions created by AI should be protected.
The Government says that when taking forward actions following this call for views, it will aim to ensure that any measures it implements will:
- encourage innovation in AI technology and promote its use for the public good;
- preserve the central role of IP in promoting human creativity and innovation; and
- be based on the best available economic evidence.
As for actions, the Government says it will:
- consult later this year on a range of possible policy options in relation to patents, including legislative change, for protecting AI generated inventions which would otherwise not meet inventorship criteria;
- publish enhanced IPO guidelines on patent exclusion practice for AI inventions and engage AI interested sectors and the patent attorney profession to enhance understanding of UK patent exclusion practice and AI inventions;
- commission an economic study to enhance understanding of the role the IP framework plays in incentivising investment in AI alongside other factors;
- work with stakeholders and international partners to establish the feasibility, costs and benefits of a deposit system for data used to train AI systems disclosed within patent applications;
- review the ways in which copyright owners license their works for use with AI, and consult on measures to make this easier, including improved licensing or copyright exceptions, to support innovation and research;
- consult on whether to limit copyright in original works to human creations (including AI-assisted creations) and consult on whether or not to replace the existing protection for computer-generated works with a related right, with scope and duration reflecting investment in such works; and
- consider whether action should be taken to reduce confusion between human and AI works and the risk of false attribution.
To read the Government’s response to the call for views in full, click here.