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

Irish referendum on joining the UPC announced for June 2024

The Irish Government's Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment announced yesterday (23 January) that the Government has approved a proposal to hold a constitutional referendum in June 2024 on Ireland’s participation in the Unified Patent Court. The referendum is to be held alongside the European and local elections. Read more

The UPC – 2023’s achievements and predictions for 2024

Six months into the new European patent and unitary patent litigation system – the Unified Patent Court (UPC) - and the stage has been set for a positive 2024. The UPC is proving popular with patentees bringing infringement actions as well as those parties seeking revocations, but with the balance falling in favour of the infringement actions to a greater extent than many had expected. We give our analysis of the UPC's first six months and our predictions for 2024.  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

An overview of the law on ambush marketing – HSF publishes a Practical Law Practice Note

Victoria Horsey and Rachel Montagnon give an overview of the law on ambush marketing for Practical Law. Their practice note (updated and republished in December 2023) describes the ways in which ambush marketing can be prevented, including a case study on the Olympics and reviewing the various attempts that have been made to ambush sporting and other events either physically or via social media. Read more

CMA announces investigation into Unilever’s green claims

On 12 December 2023 the CMA announced that it is investigating green claims made by Unilever for some of its household products which include certain cleaning products and toiletries.  The CMA is concerned that Unilever may be exaggerating the green credentials for these products by using vague and broad claims, unclear statements and the use … Read more

Competition law and biosimilars: Time for a new approach or not yet?

Competition law enforcement in the pharmaceutical sector has been vigorous in recent years with regulators focusing on a variety of issues including denigration strategies, lifecycle management patent strategies, pricing rebates, and excessive pricing. In an article recently published in Concurrences, we examine the case law and enforcement practice in this area and apply it to … Read more