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Intellectual Property Rights and AI

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In this chapter we initially give an overall discussion of the nature and types of intellectual property rights, namely, patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets in the U.S. We then proceed with a discussion how such rights are protected internationally. AI poses specific new issues affecting such rights and how AI is disrupting universally held protections. Of interest is the case of a monkey taking selfies of itself and whether the owner of the camera used was entitled to claim copyright protection for the selfies. We review a number of cases affecting such rights and the differing interpretations globally.

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-35975-1_7
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    Trademark, Patent, or Copyright? U.S. Patent and Trademark Office,

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    Copyright Definitions, U.S. Copyright Office,

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    How Long does Copyright Last?, U.S. Copyright Office,

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    17 U.S. Code, §106.4.

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    Pub. L. §§104–294, U.S.C. §§1831 et. seq.

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    Pub. L. §§114–153, May 11, 2016.

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    Trade secret, LEGAL INFORMATION INSTITUTE, Cornell L.S.,

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    Intellectual Property Enforcement, U.S. DEP’T OF STATE,

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    Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property (March 20, 1883; effective July 7, 1884, and amended June 2, 1934 and July 14, 1967) (the Paris Convention). The Convention may be found at

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    World International Property Organization WIPO), Summary of the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, WIPO is one of 15 specialized organizations in the United Nations.

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  12. 12.

    Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (1971),

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    The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), established in 1967, is an agency of the United Nations (UN) with 191 member states that administers the several international conventions acting as the global forum for intellectual property services, policy, information, and cooperation,

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    Berne Convention, Art. 2(1).

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    U.S. Copyright Law, §102(a), See also, U.S. Copyright Office, What Does Copyright Protect?,

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    An excellent summary of AI issues is Protecting Artificial Intelligence IP: Patents, Trade Secrets, or Copyrights? JONES DAY (Jan. 2018),

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    For a detailed description of the occurrence of selfies by the monkey discussed in the following case, see, Monkey selfie copyright dispute, WIKIPEDIA,

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    Id., §313.2, Works That Lack Human Authorship.

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    Burrow-Giles Lithographic Co. v. Sarony, 111 U.S. 53 (1884). Text of the case can be found at

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    Kalin Hristov, Artificial Intelligence and the Copyright Dilemma, 57 IDEA 431, No. 3, at 438,

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    Andres Guadamuz, Artificial intelligence and copyright, WIPO MAGAZINE (Oct. 2017),

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    Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, U.K.,

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    AI and IP: copyright in AI-generated works (UK law) Can copyright subsist in AI-generated work, CLIFFORD CHANCE (Dec. 18, 2018),

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    Ryan E. Long, Artificial Intelligence Art – Who Owns the Copyright, CIS (May 9, 2018),

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    Nicole Martinez, Can an AI Machine Hold Copyright Protection Over Its Work?, ART LAW JOURNAL (June 1, 2017),

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    Yasser M. El-Gamal and Ehab Samuel, Copyright Protection for AI Machine Created Works?, MANETT PHELPS & PHILLIPS LLP (Sept. 28, 2017),

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    Goldstein v. California, 412 U.S. 546 (1973). Text of the case may be found at

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    Id., at 561.

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    For a discussion, see Martinez, supra at note 606.

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    Swapnil Tripathi and Chandi Ghatak, Artificial Intelligence and Intellectual Property Law, 7 Christ U. L. J. 83–97 (2017) at 89, RESEARCH GATE,

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    For a discussion of the implications of AI authorship and freedom of speech, see Margot E. Kaminski, Authorship, Disrupted: AI Authors in Copyright and First Amendment Law, 51 UC Davis Law Review 589 (2017),

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    Article 6bis of The Berne Convention recites the “moral rights” as “(1) Independently of the author’s economic rights, and even after the transfer of the said rights, the author shall have the right to claim authorship of the work and to object to any distortion, mutilation or other modification of, or other derogatory action in relation to, the said work, which would be prejudicial to his honor or reputation.” For a discussion of some of the issues from a European perspective, see Begona Gonzalez Otero, Before the Singularity: Copyright and the Challenges of Artificial Intelligence, KLUWER COPYRIGHT BLOG,

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    For a discussion, see Hogan Lovells, Litigating intellectual property issues: The impact of AI and machine learning, LEXOLOGY (Jan. 19, 2019),

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    Patent Act, 35 U.S.C. §§1–376.

  50. 50.

    35 U.S.C. §100(f). There are similar restrictions in the U.K., Ireland, India, Hong Kong, and New Zealand. Artificial Intelligence: Why AI Inventions Will Disrupt Patent, CILGLOBAL IP LTD,

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    Gottschalk v. Benson, 409 U.S. 63 (1972). Text of case can be found in FindLaw,

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    Bilski v. Kappos, 561 U.S. 593 (2010). Text of case can be found in JUSTIA,

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    Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories, U.S. Supreme Court slip opinion, No. 10-1150 (2012),

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    Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank Intern., 573 U.S. 208 (2014). Text of case can be found at

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    Remarks Delivered by Director Iancu at the Intellectual Property Owners Association 46th Annual Meeting, United States Patent and Trademark Office (Sept. 24, 2018),

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    Herbert C. Wamsley, American Innovation at Risk: The New Congress Must Clarify Which Inventions Are Eligible for Patents, IP WATCHDOG (Dec. 19, 2018),

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    Joint IPO-AIPLA Proposal Concerning Legislative Amendment of 35 U.S.C. § 101, Letter to Hon. Andrei Iancu (May 3, 2018),

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    Electric Power Group LLC. V. Alstrom S.A., 830 F.3d 1350 (Fed. Cir. 2016).

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    Id. A text of the decision may be found at A discussion of the impact of the Alice and Electric Power decision is that of Kate Gaudry and Samuel Hayim, Artificial Intelligence Technologies Facing Heavy Scrutiny at the USPTO, IPWATCHDOG (Nov. 28, 2018),

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    Gaudry, Id.

  62. 62.

    Athena Diagnostics v. Mayo Collaborative, No. 17-2508 (Fed. Cir. 2019), discussed by Donald Zuhn, PATENT DOCS,

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    Gene Quinn, The Federal Circuit is Shirking Its Constitutional Duty to Provide Certainty for Critical Innovation, IPWATCHDOG (Feb. 12, 2019),

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    Ariosa Diagnostics, Inc. v. Sequenom, Inc., 788 F.3d 1371 (Fed. Cir. 2015). A commentary on the case and concerning several applications for medical patents that were denied is by Susan Y. Tull, Patenting the Future of Medicine: FINNEGAN (Jan/Feb. 2018),

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    Tull, id.

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    Artificial Intelligence: Why AI Inventions Will Disrupt Patent, CILGLOBAL IP LTD. (July 9, 2018),

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    Brian Higgins, Patenting Artificial Intelligence: Innovation Spike Follows Broader Market Trend, ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE TECHNOLOGY AND THE LAW (Dec. 17, 2017),

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    35 U.S. Code §112, Specification.

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    Christopher White and Hamid R. Piroozi, Protecting Artificial-Intelligence Systems Using Patent Applications, AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION (April 25, 2018),

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    A Bayesian network is a type of statistical model that represents a set of variables and their conditional dependencies by use of a directed acyclic graph. Example cited is a graph showing probabilistic relationships between diseases and symptoms. Bayesian network, Wikipedia,

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    Joff Wild, Artificial intelligence and the future of the patent system, IAM (July 11, 2018),

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    No. 16-1054 (Fed. Cir. 2016). Text of case may be found at

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    Joel Nagerl, Frank Steinbach, and Benedikt Neuberger, Artificial Intelligence: a game changer for the patent system, IAM (Sept. 25, 2018),

  75. 75.

    Catch Me If You Can: Litigating Artificial Intelligence Patents, JONESDAY (Dec. 2017),

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    United States Patent and Trademark Office, 2019 Revised Patent Subject Matter Eligibility Guidance, The PDF version of the Guidance may be found at

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    Id. at 52.

  78. 78.

    Sean P. Ritchie and Terry L. Wright, New Guidance from the USPTO To Clarify Patent-Eligible Subject Matter Determination, MONDAQ (Feb. 20, 2019),

  79. 79.

    U.S. Patent and Trademark Office announces revised guidance for determining subject matter eligibility, U.S. PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE PRESS RELEASE 19-01 (Jan. 4, 2019),

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    Antony Peyton, China bosses blockchain and AI patents, FINTECH (Jan. 21, 2019), citing UHY, an accounting and consultancy network.

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    The Global AI Race – Which Country is Winning? NANALYZE (Dec. 31, 2018), citing a Scopus database,

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    Lance Ng, U.S. vs China in AI – A Realistic, No B.S. Assessment, MEDIUM (Nov. 23, 2018),

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    Susan Schneegans [cited as source for the article], Towards a monopolization of research in artificial intelligence? UNESCO (July 20, 2018),

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    Kay Firth-Butterfield and Yoon Chae, Artificial Intelligence Collides with Patent Law, White Paper, WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM (April 2018),

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    European Patent Office, Guidelines for Examination in the European Patent Office, For a summary of the major changes in the Guidelines, see Top 9 changes to the 2018 EPO Guidelines for Examination, KLUWER PATENT BLOG,

  86. 86.

    G-II 3.3.1 of the Guidelines,

  87. 87.

    G-II 3.3 of the Guidelines,

  88. 88.

    G-II 3.3.1 of the Guidelines.

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    Leonidas Aristodemou and Frank Tietze, The state-of-the-art on Intellectual Property Analytics (IPA): A literature review on artificial intelligence and deep learning methods for analyzing intellectual property (IP) data, 55 WORLD PATENT INFORMATION, Dec. 2018, 37–51,

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    Michael T. Renaud and Marguerite McConihe, Key Strategies for Obtaining Patents Under the EPO’s New Guidelines, NATIONAL LAW REVIEW (Jan. 23, 2019),

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    Lee Curtis and Rachel Platts, AI is coming and it will change trade mark law, HGF (Jan. 2018),

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    Jayne Durden, The changing role of the trademark lawyer, managing complexity and generating insight to drive business advantage, IPWATCHDOG (Jan. 12, 2017),

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Girasa, R. (2020). Intellectual Property Rights and AI. In: Artificial Intelligence as a Disruptive Technology. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

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