AI Patents and the Self-Assembling Machine
105 Minnnesota Law Review Headnotes 301 (2021)
22 Pages Posted: 9 Jul 2020 Last revised: 6 Apr 2021
Date Written: June 16, 2020
Legal scholarship has begun to consider the implications of algorithmic pattern recognition systems, colloquially dubbed “artificial intelligence” or “AI,” for intellectual property law. This emerging literature includes several analyses that breathlessly proclaim the imminent overthrow of intellectual property systems as we now know them. Indeed, some commentators have prophesied the demise of patentable innovation under the influence of AI research and development tools.
Although AI systems pose fundamental challenges to the many areas of law and legal institutions, careful consideration suggests that intellectual property generally, and the patent system particularly, encompasses sufficient flexibilities to address AI innovation. In many cases, previous accommodation of biotechnology within the patent system points the way similar accommodation of AI tools. However, the incorporation of AI innovation into patents reveals a significant gap in patent doctrine regarding issues of causation, which deserves resolution quite apart from the unnecessary furor over the intersection of AI and patent doctrine.
Keywords: AI, Patent, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Intellectual Property, Algorithm, Obviousness, Causation, Inventor, Invention, Innovation
JEL Classification: O31, O32, O33, O34
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation