Regulating AI: Two steps forward for the UK as pro-innovation approach remains

Following landmark developments in 2023, the international spotlight remains firmly on AI regulation as we enter into 2024. The last few days alone have not only seen the COREPER Ambassador’s agreement on the EU AI Act, but also the long-awaited Government response to its AI Regulation White Paper released yesterday (“Response“) and the House of … Read more

UK Government should deal definitively with copyright issues on LLM/GenAI training data whilst adopting a positive vision for LLMs to ensure UK does not miss “AI goldrush” – recommends House of Lords Committee

The House of Lords Communications and Digital Committee issued its report  "Large language models and generative AI" today (2 February 2024). The Committee concluded that the "goldrush" opportunity that AI presents requires the UK Government to adopt a more positive vision for LLM's in order "to reap the social and economic benefits, and enable the UK to compete globally". The report sets out 10 core recommendations "to steer the UK toward a positive outcome" including measures that might resolve copyright disputes of training data. Here we look at the copyright recommendations specifically. Read more

Latest news on planned AI regulation under the EU AI Act and on AI litigation in the EU, UK, US and China

We look at the latest legislative developments in the EU and cases in the UK, US and China shedding light on how issues around the use of AI will be addressed by the use of intellectual property and what questions still remain open to debate. In particular we look at The EU AI Act and the protection of copyright in materials used in machine learning; the UK and US proceedings in Getty v Stability AI on the infringement of rights associated with images used to train Stability's Stable Diffusion image-generating AI; New York Times v. OpenAI and Microsoft case in the US that revolves around fair use of copyright materials; as well as Li v Liu in China in relation to copyright in AI generated images. Read more

UK Supreme Court unanimously dismisses DABUS appeal to allow AI to be named as a patent inventor

On 20 December 2023, The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal of Dr Stephen Thaler, reiterating earlier decisions as to the ineligibility for patent protection of inventions where there is no named human inventor. In its judgment, the Supreme Court held that an inventor, for the purposes of the Patent Act 1977 (the Act), must be a natural person, and that therefore an autonomous AI system cannot be named as inventor under the current provisions of the Act. Further, the Supreme Court held that, under the Act, ownership of an AI system does not confer a right for the owner to apply for or obtain a patent relating to inventions generated by said AI system. This decision is the latest in a series of test cases filed around the world by Dr Thaler in respect of inventions generated by his AI system known as 'DABUS', the majority of which have been rejected. Read more

Artificial neural networks (AI) not excluded from patentability and have a “substantial technical contribution” finds E&W High Court

In Emotional Perception AI Ltd v Comptroller-General of Patents, Designs, and Trade Marks the High Court held that a patent application for an artificial neural network (ANN) did not invoke the statutory exclusion from patentability which applies to  computer programs (as such) under s.1(2)(c) Patents Act 1977 as no computer program was claimed (the ANN involved not being such) and if that was wrong, the system's method of selection through the application of "technical criteria which the system has worked out for itself" satisfied the requirement for a technical contribution for the purposes of escaping that subject matter exclusion in any case. The UK IPO has temporarily suspended its guidance on the examination of AI inventions while it considers the impact of this decision and has issued a practice update specifically relating to the examination of ANNs, but it has also been granted leave to appeal. Read more

Innovation, IP and the energy transition – Creative tensions

The scale of the change needed to tackle climate change is enormous and it is clear the global transformation to a low carbon economy will be underpinned by technological innovation. Incredibly, according to the International Energy Agency’s Net Zero by 2050 report, almost half of emission reductions required by 2050 will come from technologies currently at the demonstration or prototype stage. So, attracting investment and increasing the speed with which this technology can come to market is critical. Read more

Series: The IP in AI

Uses of machine learning and AI are expanding rapidly, and IP rights play a critical role in both regulating the use of AI and protecting the rights of inventors and creators. In this series, we will explore the key challenges governments worldwide are currently grappling with in order to provide the right level of protection … Read more

UK Select Committee recommends legislation on AI including to establish and enforce rights of IP owners

The UK Science, Innovation and Technology Select Committee (which recently conducted an inquiry into the impact of AI on several sectors) has published The Governance of Artificial Intelligence: Interim Report identifying 12 challenges of AI, including that for intellectual property, and recommends legislation during this parliament. The report also expresses concerns that the UK will fall behind if there are delays, given the moves made by the EU and US to regulate AI already. On IP it recommends that where AI models and tools make use of other people’s content, policy must establish the rights of the originators of this content, and these rights must be enforced. Read more