Open Sourcing AI: Intellectual Property at the Service of Platform Leadership

28 Pages Posted: 31 Jan 2022

See all articles by Carlos Muñoz Ferrandis

Carlos Muñoz Ferrandis

Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition; Universidad de Alicante; Global Innovation, Policy & Law Research Group (GIPLaw-UA)

Marta Duque Lizarralde

TUM School of Management,Technical University of Munich

Date Written: January 26, 2022

Abstract

Artificial Intelligence - AI - is one of the most strategic technologies of our century. Consequently, tech companies are adopting intellectual property strategies to protect their investment in the field, which encompasses copyright, patents and trade secrets. While the number of AI-related patent applications is increasing, the number of open source AI projects sponsored by major AI patent holders is also on the rise. This article explores the strategic reasons behind the growing adoption of open source licensing in the AI space. More precisely, it assesses how IP rights are articulated around “openness” as a competitive factor in ecosystem competition, and how some players are using open source licensing successfully to attract a critical mass of users and build an ecosystem around their AI platforms. Moreover, this article integrates the debate on the protectability of AI features by IP rights to assess the potential implications for open source. Finally, it analyses the most used open source licences in AI projects and highlights existing and future challenges from an IP and contractual law perspective.

Keywords: AI, platforms, open source, licences, copyright, patents

Suggested Citation

Muñoz Ferrandis, Carlos and Duque Lizarralde, Marta, Open Sourcing AI: Intellectual Property at the Service of Platform Leadership (January 26, 2022). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4018413

Carlos Muñoz Ferrandis (Contact Author)

Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition ( email )

Marstallplatz 1
Munich, DE Bayern 80539
Germany

Universidad de Alicante ( email )

San Vicente del Raspeig
Spain

Global Innovation, Policy & Law Research Group (GIPLaw-UA) ( email )

Campus de San Vicente
Carretera San Vicente del Raspeig
San Vicente del Raspeig, Alicante 03690
Spain

Marta Duque Lizarralde

TUM School of Management,Technical University of Munich ( email )

Arcisstrasse 21
Munchen, 80333
Germany

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