When AI meets IP
The buzzword of the day is Artificial Intelligence. The importance of AI and its relevance to IP cannot be overstated. The question is, how exactly do they interface?
In traditional Japanese culture, a Haiku is a short form of poetry, with complicated rules of rhythm and weigh. Recently, I have been writing Haikus using a system based on AI. I asked the system to write me a haiku on our subject:
“AI roars with might,
Tigris’s grace takes the flight,
AI based systems are very sophisticated. Depending on the question or data provided, it can produce texts and images. Yes, it can draw a man-eating shrimp wearing a purple shirt against a Van Gogh-style sunset. Yes, it can arrange a trip from Prague to Hamburg for eight days without entering Berlin.
There is no doubt that this is an amazing system that will continue to be improved. It is important not to get confused about this point: it is a machine. It cannot understand, cannot feel and cannot smell. Despite its intelligence, it is not human.
Are such systems going to replace different professionals, such as lawyers or patent attorneys? My tendency is to say no. Certainly not anytime soon.
Based on Artificial Intelligence, these systems are relevant to intellectual property. Increasingly, they are gaining recognition in fields such as patents, copyrights, designs and trademarks. How does it work?
The following six examples illustrate how AI technology is affecting intellectual property. What happens when AI meets IP?
Has the era of creative clients come to an end? A former boss of mine used to say that patent attorneys collaborate with creative clients rather than wealthy ones. AI based systems are often claimed to replace human creativity. There is no truth to this claim. Creative people may use an AI based system to create new works, obtain legal protection for them, register, trade and sue using our services. The use of Artificial Intelligence enhances creativity.
A Lawyer as a Psychologist
Are lawyers necessary? They may look like machines that remember texts and recite legal arguments. It surely would be better to use an AI based system. I disagree. A psychological component of counseling is an important part of my work as a lawyer who represents clients in court cases of all types. AI based systems cannot do that. A client, a businessperson and an industrial designer, recently met with me for a two-hour meeting about the legal process and the next steps in a court case concerning design infringement. The first 15 minutes were dedicated to legal issues, while the remainder of the meeting was psychological counseling. The client appreciated the meeting and is prepared better for the remaining steps of the procedure. AI based systems would not have been helpful for this task.
A Surprise Song
AI systems can create new works based on old ones. Using the voice of an artist; adopting an artist style and creating a new work. The well-known Canadian artist Drake recently revealed that he had released a new song without his knowledge. The “new” song gained traction on Tik Tok. It was not Drake who released the new song, it was an AI based system. There are many questions raised by this Tik Tok trend: Does this damage the artist’s reputation? Is it possible for the artist to prevent it? Does the artist have a right to a share of the profits?
To Whom the Hell Does it Belong?
Who owns the new works created by an AI based system? There are several options: the one who provided the input to the system, the system itself or no one. There also may be a combination between them. As demonstrated above, the system created a Haiku from the data I gave it. Using the system, I can write a Haiku, a poem or a story. It is possible to tell the system to add the color purple, the country of Japan, or a shrimp. Who created it? Who owns the rights?
In Israel, industrial designs are protected by law. A contemporary design, which differs from existing products in the industry, may receive a monopoly right for up to 25 years. Most of the designers are professionals in their fields – industrial designers, graduates of Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design Jerusalem, Shenkar – Engineering. Design. Art., the Technion, the Technological Institute in Holon, etc. In addition, I have clients who registered designs with no professional “past” in the field. Clients who are well versed in a specific market and found an original solution that is reflected in the external form of an object.
Is it possible for an AI based system to produce innovative design solutions as well? There is no simple answer to this question. Often, when examining the designing process, it is found that at the first stage, a lot of time is spent collecting, identifying, or recognizing the existing design solutions. An AI based system can do this step well and quickly. It is the second stage of creating a design that is more amorphous. The process of creating many options and negating most of them is described by some designers; others speak of a creative “spark”; others describe borrowing a solution from another field. Is an AI based system capable of producing innovative designs and working out this second stage?
The System Copies by Definition
By definition, AI based systems raise the issue of copyright infringement. AI based systems learn from previous texts that they have ingested and digested. The system uses existing texts. AI based systems combine existing things, not recreate them. AI based systems are, by definition, copying systems. Should copyright laws, which I deal with every day, change? Is it necessary to change the copyright infringement test, for example?
As an IP professional, I am optimistic about the meeting between AI based systems and my field of practice. The law in this area has always been on the cutting edge of technology. We will learn how to gallop on the AI Tigris just as we learned how to ride the internet tiger. Yes, the Tigris from the opening Haiku. The future will tell.