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Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and Intellectual Property: Protecting Computer-Generated Works in the United Kingdom

Research Handbook on Intellectual Property and Digital Technologies (Tanya Aplin, ed), Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd, Forthcoming

15 Pages Posted: 6 Nov 2017  

Ryan Abbott

University of Surrey School of Law; University of California, Los Angeles - David Geffen School of Medicine

Date Written: November 2, 2017

Abstract

Big data and its use by artificial intelligence (AI) is changing the way intellectual property is developed and granted. For decades, machines have been autonomously generating works which have traditionally been eligible for copyright and patent protection. Now, the growing sophistication of AI and the prevalence of big data is positioned to transform computer-generated works (CGWs) into major contributors to the creative and inventive economies. However, intellectual property law is poorly prepared for this eventuality. The UK is one of the few nations, and perhaps the only EU member state, to explicitly provide copyright protection for CGWs. It is silent on patent protection for CGWs.

This chapter makes several contributions to the literature. First, it provides an up-to-date review of UK, EU and international law. Second, it argues that patentability of CGWs is a matter of first impression in the UK, but that CGWs should be eligible for patent protection as a matter of policy. Finally, it argues that the definition of CGWs should be amended to reflect the fact that a computer can be an author or inventor in a joint work with a person.

Keywords: patents, computer-generated works, inventive machines, robot law, intellectual property, international harmonization

Suggested Citation

Abbott, Ryan, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and Intellectual Property: Protecting Computer-Generated Works in the United Kingdom (November 2, 2017). Research Handbook on Intellectual Property and Digital Technologies (Tanya Aplin, ed), Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3064213

Ryan Abbott (Contact Author)

University of Surrey School of Law ( email )

Guildford
Guildford, Surrey GU2 5XH
United Kingdom

University of California, Los Angeles - David Geffen School of Medicine ( email )

1000 Veteran Avenue, Box 956939
Los Angeles, CA 90095-6939
United States

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