The proliferation of Artificial Intelligence is transforming our lives and impacting every major industry. The mainstream adoption of A.I. naturally leads to questions around copyright and patentability. This results in a plethora of interesting conversations among litigators, as U.S. law dictates that there be sufficient human involvement for something to be deemed copyrightable. We recently spoke with IP litigator, Chris Mammen, of Womble Bond Dickinson on our podcast about this very topic, which you can listen to here.
Chris explains, “If something is purely generated by the robot then it’s probably not [copyrightable]. Now, if the robot has been programmed in a certain way by someone who has exercised creativity, then it is possible that person may provide sufficient human involvement for it to be copyrightable in the name of the programmer as the artist. But, in the sense that the robot as the artist. [it is] not going to be something that can be copyrightable.”
Legal considerations and doctrinal rulings in this area are quite exciting, as they border on philosophical debates. In our conversation with Chris, he goes into detail on a few of these discussions that are currently unfolding. He explains, “There is project going on right now called Next Rembrandt, and it is an organization that has used A.I. to train their models using Rembrandt’s corpus of work, to create another image that looks very much like the style of a Rembrandt painting but is different.” Naturally, concerns arise related to copyright and who is the actual creative force behind the artwork being created.
Chris elaborates, “Is it A.I. or is it Rembrandt himself, because all of the creative inputs that it’s been trained on were all Rembrandt’s works? And if it is Rembrandt and under our current copyright law valid for the life of the author plus 70 years, then wouldn’t that copyright have expired hundreds of years ago before the work came into existence.” These “philosophical pretzels” as Chris describes them are so important to consider, because as technology develops legal precedents will be established that lay the groundwork for future litigation and technological advancements.
Our conversation with Chris also explored patent law in the context of A.I. “When we talk about A.I. in the patenting realm, there are three buckets that we can divide things into. One is using A.I. as a research tool, another is where A.I. is the invention, and the third is the question of whether A.I. can be an inventor.” Chris’ work in this space explores all these topics, as he is at the forefront of conversations regarding A.I. and patent litigation.
We were honored to speak with Chris Mammen on our podcast and hope that you find our conversation enlightening and entertaining. You can take a listen to the episode and follow us on social media to keep up with the latest episodes of Engaging Experts.
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By the year 2025, the AI market is expected to become a $190 billion industry, as 75% of commercial enterprise apps will incorporate artificial intelligence by 2021. Our artificial intelligence expert witnesses, speakers, and consultants are professionals and scholars from major universities who have worked with organizations in the financial services, technology, manufacturing, transportation, government, and military industries, including NASA, Lockheed-Martin, Lucent, Microsoft, and IBM, among others.
Our copyright expert witnesses, speakers, and consultants include scholars from major universities, lawyers, scientists, engineers, computer experts, and other industry professionals with extensive knowledge in copyright matters worldwide. They have had years of practical experience in the litigation of intellectual property cases, including trials and appeals, before United States courts, the U. S. Patent and Trademark Office, Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) arbitration tribunals and been retained by the Federal Judicial Center (the federal agency charged with continuing education for federal judges) to deliver seminars in patent, trademark, and copyright law to local federal districts.
Intellectual property is a form of legal entitlement which allows its holder to control the use of certain intangible ideas and expressions. The term ‘intellectual property’ reflects the idea that, once established, such entitlements are generally treated by the courts as if they are tangible property. The most common forms of intellectual property include patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets.
In June 2018, The United States Patent Office issued its ten millionth patent using its current numbering system, which began with the Patent Act of 1836. It took 155 years (1836-1991) for the Patent Office to issue its first five million patents, but only twenty-seven years to issue the next five million. There were over 308,000 patents issued in 2018 alone.