Is AI patentable?
There has been a quite boom around artificial intelligence (AI) and many Startups deal with AI and related issues. Here is the brief article talking about AI and its place in intellectual property law from practical point of view. We will also display in what areas and how can Startups seek protection for their inventions in this innovative technical field.
What is AI?
In short – It is an opposite to natural intelligence displayed by human and animals, but it is mostly perceived as an area of computer science that involves the creation of intelligent machines that work and react like humans.
Where do we already use AI?
Transportation, robotics, telecommunications, computing, medicine and others like banking, security, entertainment, social networks, smart cities and so on. The most growing so far, from the view of patented technology, is machine learning (which covers more than one-third of all inventions. For instance there have been more than 20.000 patent applications for just this area of AI.
How can I protect my AI inventions?
Copyright – Every software, and also that related to AI, is protected in most countries by copyright. This right is constituted once your work is created and expressed in some tangible form (in most countries). But beware, it does not protect idea itself but form in which it is expressed.
Patent – If you invention can meet patentability requirements, then you can also seek for patent protection of it. You may find the information on the internet that AI can not be patented but thats not true. On the contrary, WIPO is informing the public every year about raising the percentage of AI patents in all the relevant fields. There are already ten of thousands AI patents granted in throughout the world and this number is raising every month.
Trademark – Yes, you can definitely protect your AI invention by trademark. Some Startup companies, particularly involved in robotics and software development have invented great and selling solution which is powered by their novel AI. They are selling this software, but they have also given the name to this invention of theirs. This name can be protected by trademark. Why it is that important if they already have patented it? Briefly said, it is mostly because trademark protection can be renewed for infinite amount of time, is less expensive and can distinguish you from your competitors in the eyes of consumers.
We do always advice to consult the most efficient IP strategy with IP law expert before making steps toward obtaining these rights.