Artificial intelligence and intellectual property: consultation on copyright and patent law


This consultation aims to gather evidence and views on:

  • the extent to which patents and copyright should protect inventions and creative works made by AI
  • measures to facilitate the use of copyrighted material in the development of AI, supporting innovation and research

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a transformative technology and is already revolutionizing many areas of our lives. It can be a powerful tool for scientists, entrepreneurs and artists, enabling new inventions and creations.

The government wants the UK to be at the forefront of this revolution, to encourage innovation in AI technology and promote its use for the public good. At the same time, we want to preserve the central role of intellectual property (IP) in promoting human creativity and innovation.

The government has previously sought advice on the interplay of AI and intellectual property and the impact of AI on the intellectual property framework.

Questions have been raised about the balance in the copyright system between the protection of human works and works of AI, and the use of copyrighted material in machine learning. For patents, issues have been identified that could stifle innovation as the use of AI systems increases.

We are now looking for evidence and opinions on a range of options for possible changes in patent and copyright law that might resolve these issues.

The consultation is led by the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) and is one of the government’s commitments as part of its recently launched innovation strategy to help ensure that the UK’s intellectual property environment Uni continues to dominate the world.

Science Minister George Freeman said:

As one of the most digitally advanced economies, we want to create the best environment for artificial intelligence companies and innovators by ensuring that our copyright and patent system is a catalyst. for their development, making the UK a natural home for groundbreaking research and development. .

Our intellectual property regime is one of the most reputable in the world. This consultation – led by the Intellectual Property Office – will help us ensure that we keep pace with global change, living up to our shared ambitions to make the UK a nation of innovation.

Digital Minister Chris Philp said:

Ensuring that our intellectual property and technology rules are fit for the digital age is at the heart of our new AI strategy, which aims to solidify the UK’s place as the global superpower of the IA.

Through this review, we will ensure that we encourage investment in technology and innovation so that we can all benefit from the brightest and best creative ideas of tomorrow.

IPO Managing Director Tim Moss said:

The UK is considered to be one of the best IP environments in the world. To help keep it that way, we envision addressing the challenges that AI brings and the opportunities to unlock the potential of innovation. An accessible, efficient and balanced intellectual property system is a powerful tool in helping innovation and creativity to flourish.

The technology created by human innovation has evolved. This technology can now act in the innovation process, and it is already clear that the role of AI will become more and more important in different industries and in society at large. Your views will inform the discussions that will help shape our future, and through this consultation it is essential that we hear them.

AI Council President Tabitha Goldstaub said:

The AI ​​Council welcomes the launch of today’s consultation on copyright and patent law. Reflecting on the challenges that AI poses to intellectual property and ensuring that people are appropriately rewarded for their inventiveness and creativity is essential for innovation to flourish. The AI ​​Council looks forward to supporting an open dialogue and exchange of ideas between industry, academia and government on this important topic.

The consultation will run for 10 weeks, ending January 7, 2022.

Further information on the consultation and how to respond can be found on GOV.UK.

Notes to Editors:

  • Intellectual property (IP) rights such as patents and copyrights protect inventions and creations of the mind. They reward people for their inventiveness and creativity. And they encourage investment in technology and culture for the good of all of us

  • last year, we published a call for opinions and government response on AI and intellectual property. We asked for opinions on whether the IP framework is still fit for AI

  • by developing options for possible changes in the law, we will ensure that all measures implemented: encourage innovation in AI technology; promote its use for the public good; preserve the central role of intellectual property in promoting human creativity and innovation; are based on the best economic evidence available

  • the national AI strategy, building on the achievements of the AI ​​sector agreement, will secure the UK’s position among the global AI superpowers. The government wants to ensure the UK continues to be a leading location in the world for research, development, commercialization and deployment of AI. Our work on AI and intellectual property supports this ambition

  • the UK’s innovation strategy, launched in July 2021, is the starting point for the government’s long-term vision for how the UK will consolidate its role as a global innovation leader and achieve 2.4% investment objective in research and development (R&D). of GDP. This strategy recognizes a strong intellectual property system, which protects and enables a return on investment in ideas, creates the confidence on which this long-term and lasting success is based.


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