July 2024

Navigating the Intersection of AI and Patent Law: The Global Debate on AI Inventorship

Patenting AI systems presents unique challenges, including the question of whether an AI can be considered an inventor under patent law. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued guidance stating that only natural persons can be named as inventors on US patents and patent applications. For an AI-assisted invention to qualify for patent protection, a natural person must have made a significant contribution to its conception beyond mere operation or utilization of AI technology. The guidance underscores the importance of genuine inventive involvement in patentable innovations. The UK Supreme Court and other patent offices have similarly upheld the necessity of human inventorship. However, South Africa has granted a patent where an AI system is the inventor, raising questions about the future of patent laws and the need for legislative updates to accommodate AI inventorship. The evolving nature of AI technology necessitates a reevaluation of patent laws to address the unique challenges posed by AI-generated inventions.

May 2024

AI and IP at the Crossroads: How does the EU AI Act Approach Copyright Law?

The development of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies relies heavily on data. However, the use of copyrighted materials in training and testing AI systems may raise copyright infringement concerns. The EU AI Act introduces no exceptions to current copyright law but imposes obligations on providers of general-purpose AI models to comply with copyright protection. These obligations include establishing copyright policies and providing detailed summaries of training data used in the development of the AI model. The AI Office is tasked with developing guidelines and monitoring compliance with copyright obligations. EU copyright law provides several exceptions to copyright protection, including exemptions for text and data mining activities. Still, non-compliant operators may face harsh penalties under the Act and copyright claims under EU copyright law.

Why are copyright laws relevant to AI?

The emergence of Generative AI (GenAI) has raised numerous legal questions, particularly in the realm of copyright law. One of the central concerns surrounding GenAI technology pertains to its utilization of copyrighted material for training purposes, leading to a plethora of allegations of copyright infringement and lawsuits. Several countries have laws that could potentially permit the use of copyrighted materials to train AI, but there is a clear divide between AI developers and copyright owners on the issue. The US has proposed legislation addressing GenAI and copyright issues, while legal battles have also taken place outside the US providing insight into the global reaction to the issue of copyright and AI. The lawsuits surrounding Generative AI technology address several critical questions at the intersection of copyright law and AI development, including whether training a model on copyrighted material necessitates a license, whether generative AI output infringes on the copyright of the materials on which the model was trained, and the issue of liability for copyright infringement stemming from generative AI. Organizations need to be aware of existing laws and the rising number of legislations targeting copyright to ensure compliance.

January 2024

Generative AI and copyright infringements: The key lawsuits you need to know

Generative AI is at the peak of the AI hype cycle and is being used for various applications, but there has been an increase in copyright lawsuits since generative AI requires vast amounts of data, often scraped from the internet. The lawsuits challenge the legality of training generative AI models on copyrighted content such as books. The article provides a summary of some key lawsuits over the past six months and predicts similar ones will continue to emerge in the future. The article's author offers Holistic AI as a solution for keeping track of AI regulations and lawsuits. The article's disclaimer notes that it is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal advice.