Insights Intellectual Property Office publishes outcome of consultation on “Artificial Intelligence and IP: copyright and patents”


The IPO sought evidence and views on a range of options on how AI should be dealt with in the patent and copyright systems.

The IPO considered three specific areas:

  1. copyright protection for computer-generated works without a human author;
  2. licensing or exceptions to copyright for text and data mining, which is often significant in AI use and development; and
  3. patent protection for AI-devised inventions.

For computer-generated works, the IPO says that it plans no changes to the law. There is no evidence at present that protection for computer-generated works  is harmful, and the use of AI is still in its early stages. As such, a proper evaluation of the options is not possible, and any changes could have unintended consequences. However, the IPO says that it will keep the law under review and could amend, replace or remove protection in future if the evidence supports it.

For text and data mining, the IPO plans to introduce a new copyright and database exception, which allows text and data mining for any purpose. Rights holders will still have safeguards to protect their content, including a requirement for lawful access.

For AI-devised inventions, the IPO plans no change to UK patent law for now. Most respondents felt that AI is not yet advanced enough to invent without human intervention. However, again, the IPO will keep this area of law under review to ensure that the UK patent system supports AI innovation and the use of AI in the UK. The IPO will seek to advance AI inventorship discussions internationally to support UK economic interests. To access the IPO’s response in full, click here.