On 13th December 2019, the World Intellectual Property Organization  (“WIPO“) launched a wide-ranging public consultation process which focuses on the interplay between Artificial Intelligence (“AI“) and intellectual property policy.  Specifically, WIPO are calling for comments from all interested parties on its draft issues paper, which seeks to correctly identify and formulate a shared understanding of the main issues which the rise of AI poses for intellectual property policymakers.

This consultation is the latest in a series of steps taken by WIPO to further understand the ongoing interaction of AI with the intellectual property system. In particular, the draft issues paper encourages comments on the way in which AI interacts with the following areas of the intellectual property system:

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(a) Patents;

(b) Copyright;

(c) Data;

(d) Designs;

(e) The technology gap and  the capacity building (specifically referencing the disconnect between jurisdictional AI expertise and capacity, versus the rapid pace of AI advancement); 

(f) Accountability for intellectual property administrative decisions.

The consultation period for the WIPO process is open until 14th February 2020.

Once the comment period has closed, WIPO shall revise the draft issues paper taking account of the comments received. This revised issues paper will form the basis of the Second Session of the “WIPO Conversation on IP and AI”, to be held in May 2020.

Coincidentally (perhaps), the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO“) has also recently launched a consultation relating to AI. The consultation is in connection to draft guidance issued by the ICO on the approach organizations should take to explain decisions concerning individuals which are made using AI. The ICO’s work has been done in conjunction with the UK’s Alan Turing Institute and interested organizations are encouraged to respond to the consultation via an online survey. The consultation period for the ICO guidance closes on 24th January 2020.

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Simon
Author Simon Choi

Prof Simon Choi has more than 20 years international management experience, graduated from the law schoolsof the Peking University, the University of London and the University of Hong Kong respectively, and is a senior lawyer qualified to practise law in England & Wales and in Hong Kong, China as a solicitor. Simon has rich experience in law teaching worldwide; and, among others, he serviced as a senior lecturer at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, lecturing “Legal Aspects of Ecommerce” in early 2000’s. He was the general counsel of TCL heading its Global Legal Centre for nearly a decade. Mr Choi is an expert in Fintech law, specializing in legal issues of international trade and finance, digital economy, M&As, global IPOs and international business cooperation and dispute settlement. He was appointed as an adjunct professor of law by Zhongnan University of Economics and Law in 2013.