WIPO conversation on intellectual property and artificial intelligence

WIPO revises and adopts a broader perspective on artificial intelligence as well as expands its remarks on copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, etc.

Following a consultation with intellectual property offices, businesses, various organisations and individuals, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has published a revision to its working document (Dec 2019) on artificial intelligence and intellectual property. The document now includes sections on trademarks, trade secrets, copyright and counterfeiting. It also provides more context, with a glossary clarifying AI concepts, and tackles a number of new questions on patents and other rights.

In particular, the new document defines AI as 'a discipline of computer science that is aimed at developing machines and systems that can carry out tasks considered to require human intelligence, with limited or no human intervention'. It also clearly distinguishes between 'narrow AI' - i.e. techniques and applications programmed to perform individual tasks - and general AI. It makes further distinctions between 'AI-generated', 'generated autonomously by AI' and 'AI-assisted'.

The revised summary continues to focus on the substantive legal issues raised by intellectual property policy in relation to artificial intelligence, even though many of the observations made about the draft summary raise questions about other issues, such as ethics, standards and protection of privacy.
The WIPO summary will form the basis of a new structured discussion session that will be held virtually in July 2020.


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