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The Ownership of Artificial Intelligence (AI) Generated & Created Inventions

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Document pages: 21 pages

Abstract: The rudimentary and overarching goal of the patent law is to establish a balance between public interest and the inventor interest on an equilibrium of reward, a limited exclusive right is granted to the inventor as a reward for his or her contribution to the technical advancement of the general public. This equilibrium of reward provides the fulcrum that serves as an incentive for creativity, innovation, research and development. With the fast pace of advancement in technological developments, overtime machines have developed the capability and capacity to invent new products, this trend of machine’s invention was not envisaged by the global patent system and has triggered discussions for Intellectual Property policies reform. Debates surrounding who owns an Artificial Intelligence generated or created invention took a different trend recently after the European Patent Office (EPO) rejected two patent applications on the basis that they did not meet the requirements for inventorship as prescribed by the European Patent Convention (EPC). The EPC states unequivocally that an inventor is a “natural person” and by giving a machine a name is immaterial because things have no rights, therefore the grounds for refusal by the European Patent Office was that machines have no “legal personality”. There’s a gray line between the concepts of Ownership and Inventorship of patentable inventions that require clarification, people often confuse the inventor and owner as the same person which is often not factual; this research seeks to provide a scholarly adventure into setting a dichotomy between the two concepts including authorship. Discussions on the path ahead from the multilateral and the national jurisdiction levels are hinged on the objective of reviewing IP policies, legislative amendments and regulations on Artificial Intelligence in general.This research paper examines the ownership of Artificial Intelligence generated and created inventions, within the existing IP framework and what protection are ascribed to such inventions under the Paris Convention, the World Intellectual Property Organization Copyright Treaty (WCT), and the Trade-related Aspects to Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement from a substantive law perspective coupled with what policy reforms are required for its adaptation and enforcement. To review IP policies, the Natural Rights Theory, laws, regulations that are in contrast to the concept of “machine ownership” and find a middle ground of convergence; to investigate jurisdictional issues pertaining to AI enforcement at the domestic fronts. Moreover, to look keenly at the concepts of ownership, inventorship and authorship in relations to policy prescriptions required to adapt AI inventorship, ownership and authorship in the field of IP. And conclude with the path ahead from the international and national perspectives.

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