Artificial Intelligence and Patent Ownership
61 Pages Posted: 8 Mar 2018 Last revised: 12 Mar 2019
Date Written: March 1, 2018
Invention by artificial intelligence (“AI”) is the future of innovation. Unfortunately, as discovered though Freedom of Information Act requests, the U.S. patent regime has not determined how it will address patents for inventions created solely by AI (“AI patents”). This article fills that void by presenting the first comprehensive analysis on the allocation of AI patent rights (should the Patent Office issue such patents). To this end, the paper employs Coase Theorem and its corollaries to determine who should be allowed to secure these patents to maximize economic efficiency. The study concludes that letting firms using AI to create new technologies (as opposed to software companies, programmers, or downstream parties) to obtain the resulting patents is the optimal policy.
Keywords: artificial intelligence, patents
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