This Report examines copyright and patent protection in Europe for AI-assisted outputs in general and in three priority domains: science (in particular, meteorology), media (journalism), and pharmaceutical research. It comprises an assessment of the state of the art of uses of AI in the three focus areas, and a legal analysis of how IP laws currently apply to AI-assisted creative and innovative outputs.
The Report concludes that the current state of the art in AI does not require or justify immediate substantive changes in copyright and patent law in Europe. The existing concepts of copyright and patent law are sufficiently abstract and flexible to meet the current challenges from AI. In addition, related rights regimes potentially extend to “authorless” AI productions in a variety of sectors, and the sui generis database right may offer protection to AI-produced databases resulting from substantial investment.
However, taking into account the practical implications of AI technologies, the Report identifies specific avenues for future legal reform (if justified by empirical evidence), offers recommendations for improvements in the application of existing rules (e.g. via guidelines), and highlights the need to study the role of alternative IP regimes to protect AI-assisted outputs, such as trade secret protection, unfair competition and contract law.
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