Artificial creativity—is the IP system ready for robot inventors?

By Katharine Stephens

08-2019

IP analysis: At a conference organised by World Intellectual Property Organization in June 2019 entitled ‘AI: decoding IP’, Lord Kitchin, Justice of the Supreme Court, gave one of the opening speeches. Although Lord Kitchin began his speech by commenting on the profound promise of artificial intelligence (AI), he went on to warn that it will bring with it challenging issues for regulators and lawmakers. Katharine Stephens, partner and co-head of Bird & Bird’s London IP department, considers a few of the questions raised in Lord Kitchin’s speech.

In his speech, Lord Kitchin argues that AI is becoming increasingly able to carry out ‘all or the predominant part of the creative and innovative work’ in the creation of concepts and inventions. According to current UK patent law, if AI was to invent something, would the creator of the AI be able to patent it? Who would be the
inventor and to whom would the invention belong?

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