Living in a connected world, working in a digital, mobile manner using cloud computing services, for instance, is still very new to many in the legal world. However, the use of automation and in particular, deep learning and artificial intelligence are now starting to change the way humans are working. Over time, the continued advancements in AI have revolutionized the world as a whole.
In today’s evolving, technologically advanced society, artificial intelligence systems have been gaining considerable speed. With advanced technologies being incorporated into the same, it will not be long until these systems begin to create amazing inventions without any assistance from mankind. This raises significant concerns about intellectual property rights (IPR) because it casts doubt on not just accepted concepts regarding topics like patents and copyrights but also results in the emergence of concerns with the regulation of such inventions, among other things. This research paper seeks to provide insight into the significance of IPR in AI, and AI’s future in the coming years.
Keywords– Artificial Intelligence, Intellectual Property Law, patent law, Copyright law, Machine learning
Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) refers to any rights which are given to any creator or inventor in order to safeguard his inventions so that no other person can copy the idea or the concept one has thought of. Inventions these days are mostly based on AI, every country is trying to equip itself with the help of AI, as it is considered one of the most powerful weapons one can use against their enemies. When the first cutting-edge computers started to decode enormous encoding machines during World War II, the value of artificial intelligence became clear. In 1956, the well-known John McCarthy came to the conclusion that we needed artificially intelligent machines that could think and assess the situation before people could understand it and come up with a solution. The evolution of AI changed everything, and today IP innovators and strategists feel the need to safeguard AI in order to get patents. Previously, IP strategists employed traditional ways of searching when acquiring a patent. But, countries or people sometimes often copy unique ideas which often leads to disharmony between them, to overcome this the concept of Intellectual Property Rights was introduced.
What is IPR?
Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) are the rights related to intangible property owned by a person/company and guarded against use without consent. Thus, rights referring to ownership of holding are called belongings Rights. These rights aim to shield property (creations of human intellect) by allowing the creators of trademarks, patents, or copyrighted works to profit from their creations. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)1 also refers to intellectual property rights under Article 27 which states that “Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.”
Any innovation, distinctive name, symbol, logo, or design that is applied commercially is considered to be intellectual property. One of the most significant categories of intellectual property is copyright. In India, copyright protection is provided by the Copyright Act of 1957 2, which grants protection for both the author’s economic and moral rights.
There are various components of IPR-
Copyright safeguards a creator’s ownership of their original literary and artistic creations. The Right to Copy, which is only accessible to the creator or author of the original work, is known as copyright. Consequently, the Copyright Act deems anybody who copies the original piece to be infringing. The representation of an idea is protected under copyright law, not the concept or content itself. The patent law is responsible for the protection of the ideas.
Under Copyright, the following works are covered –
Musical work such as songs, choruses, solos, bands, orchestras, etc, Artistic works like painting, drawings, sculpture,s, etc, Photographic work like landscapes, fashion or event photographs, portraits, etc, Motion pictures such as films, drama, documentary, television broadcasting, videotape, DVDs. Computer programs, software, and their related databases, etc.
It is considered to be the most important intellectual property right relating to inventions and grants the exclusive right, for a limited period of time, provided by the government to the patentee, one who files the patent, in exchange of full disclosure of his invention, thus helps in creating a barrier that no one has the right to work on that invention, thus the inventor exercise the complete monopoly over his unique and new idea. Moreover, the rights which are granted are territorial in nature, they are enforceable and applicable only in the country they are registered in, thus an individual living in some other country has the right to work upon the same idea or invention.
There are three basic types of patents known; Utility patents, this is considered the most commonly used patent which is usually granted to new chemicals, machines, new processes, etc, Design patents, which are granted to protect the design of the manufactured objects as well as the unique appearance of the objects, Plant patents, are the patents granted for invention and asexual reproduction of new and unique varieties of new plants.
Trademark is defined under section2(b) of The Indian trademarks Act 19993 as a “mark which is capable of being represented graphically and which is capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one person from those of others and may include a shape of goods, their packaging, and combination of colors.”Furthermore, the trademarks not only help in distinguishing products but also help the consumer to identify the source, owner, or developer of the product. It can be slogans , the brand name of a product, slogans, etc.
Using a trademark prevents others from using companies’ or individuals’ products without their permission. Trademark also usually acts as a barrier and prevents anyone else from using a similar brand name which creates confusion among consumers.
Geographical Indications (GI)
Various agricultural products consist of special qualities based on the climate or soil they are grown in. GI protects the name or the origin of the product where it is grown or found. Some famous products having GI’s are Nagpur oranges, Darjeeling Tea, Arabian Horses, etc. Furthermore, in India GI’s can be registered under Act 1999. The duration of GI is usually 10 years and after this renewal is required.
Trade secrets are intellectual property rights on private information that can be bought or licensed. Any invention that is not patented but is beneficial to the company can be kept a trade secret. Any business information or secret utilized in any data compliance, databases, or financial data can be kept as a trade secret, encompassing technological information or procedures like a recipe, idea, software, formulas, or maps.
What is AI?
AI commonly known as Artificial Intelligence is something which is used in every aspect of life nowadays. When we add various specific functions to a machine so that it can work and do all the chores like humans can be stated as artificial intelligence. Moreover, in layman’s language, AI can be stated as “intelligence exhibited by machines. ” AI is also named Machine Learning, as there is a very thin wall between artificial intelligence and robotics, scientists are working towards inventing robots, that can work as efficiently as humans and can possess the same emotions as humans do. AI’s main component, machine learning, is fed a lot more data and, when trained, will carry out a specific task. Applications of machine learning include translating between languages, captioning photos, and document scanning.
AI & Its Future
Artificial Intelligence or machine learning plays a very vital role in the 21st century. Humans are dependent on computers in every little thing they do, as it makes their life easier. As it is often stated that AI would be given full autonomy and liberty to decide what’s good for them and to create more of them. They would function just like humans and maybe even better than them. The whole world would be dependent on AI in the coming years, but people often argue that giving them liberty can act as harm to the human race, as AI too can commit various offenses among others. As everything has its advantages and disadvantages, so does AI.
AI-generated work and issues related to it –
According to Section 13 of the Copyright Act 19574, “for copyright to subsist in literary, dramatic, musical & artistic works, specifies that it should be an original work.” But, the act does not define the term “original”, the Supreme Court has stated in one of the leading cases Eastern book co v D.B Modak 5, adopted the ‘Modicum Of Creativity’ standard for understanding whether a work will be awarded or given copyright protection. So, the original copyrightable work must meet the minimum requirements which are needed for creativity and it should not merely be an outcome of skill and labor. Furthermore, as the threshold is not particularly high, an AI-generated work may meet this originality standard and it should be copyrightable.
The main issue which arises, in this case, is Intellectual Property Rights, specifically the matter of copyright, as when the AI in coming years would become more advanced and fully autonomous and automatic, and it would be having full liberty to make its own decision through cognitive abilities. As of now, only human authors of creative works may enjoy copyright protection.
Moreover, a scholar named Ryan Abbott, in his work ‘ I think, therefore I invent: Creative computers and the future of patent law’6, has once stated that the idea of granting copyright to non-human authors, and he further argues that the word “authorship” should be widened to incorporate both human and non-human authors.
Significance of Intellectual Property in AI
Intellectual Property plays a very important role, especially in the context of artificial intelligence. As, discussed above intellectual property consists of various components classified as patents, copyright, geographical indicators, etc. Today almost every country is trying to equip and advance themselves with the help of AI, so they can rule the world. But, often there is a fear among the scientists of different countries about their ideas or inventions getting stolen, and here comes IPR, these are one basic right that helps them to secure their ideas even if they are discussed openly.
In today’s technological environment, there is a growing interplay between patent laws and AI. AI has been widely used to simplify the execution of fundamental processes and, primarily, reduce human effort. At first look, AI-enabled systems appear to work similarly to simple calculators and other similar technologies. It works in a far more complicated manner, though. Today’s AI-enabled systems are capable of performing tasks based on their crucial insights, which opens the door to the possibility of innovation and new inventions.
AI may act as a menace in context with IP, as the implementation of the same is quite impossible, thus there are some measures on which the world can act as a whole to overcome various problems which come with AI or can come in near future:
- A Uniform Recognition for AI’s
AI has been considered a reality and has been given recognition in some countries like the USA, England, etc. Moreover, the uniform recognition might lead to TRIPS modification, for example, it’s possible that AIs would lead to the recognition of equality among all multilateral trade forum participants.
- Eliminating any ambiguity in the application of patent laws
As, there is a clear demarcation between inventor and invention with widespread usage of these on a large scale, the protection against it becomes an important issue. Furthermore, giving complete autonomy to them can act as a menace in near future and important steps should be taken to prevent it.
- Introducing an Artificial Intelligence Data Protection Act
AI’s these days are performing all the functions of humans, it would not be surprising if they could perform better than humans and even took decisions for them in the near future, as humans would tend to give them full liberty and autonomy. To keep a check and to maintain a balance in the world an act should be drafted namely the ‘Artificial Intelligence Data Protection Act.’7 Furthermore, the act can include various laws related to civil and criminal offenses committed by AI which tend to harm humans.
The use of complicated solutions offered by AI has now been demonstrated to resolve common commercial problems. It has been a standard piece of technology for many years. It can swiftly and efficiently manipulate enormous amounts of data while determining the best possible solution. With the advent of powerful AI solutions, strategists no longer have to worry about locating a competitive analysis for patents, which used to be a burdensome daily IP management chore that required analysts to spend hours and days conducting a relevant search for patents. However, if AI develops more quickly, there will come a day when managing such enormous datasets for IP portfolios and bridging the protection gap for individuals will become more onerous. Moreover, we can state that IP plays a very significant role in the context of AI, as without IPR, there is a great chance of stealing the ideas of the original inventor behind any invention, literary or artistic work.
1 The Universal Declaration Of Human Rights, https://www.wipo.int/edocs/mdocs/tk/en/wipo_unhchr_ip_pnl_98/wipo_unhchr_ip_pnl_98_5.pdf , ( last visited 26 August,2022)
2 Copyright Act of 1957, https://copyright.gov.in/documents/copyrightrules1957.pdf, (last visited 28 August 2022)
3 The Indian Trademarks act,1999, https://www.indiacode.nic.in/ , (last visited 26 August 2022)
4 Copyright act of 1957,https://indiankanoon.org/doc/4010217, (last visited 23 August 2022)
5 Eastern book co v D.B Modak, https://indiankanoon.org/doc/1062099/
7 Artificial Intelligence Poses a Greater Risk to IP than Humans to, TECHCRUNCH, https:// techcrunch.com/ 2015/ 12/31/artificial-intelligence-poses-a-greater-risk-to-ip-than-humans-do/