Artificial Intelligence and Intellectual Property Rights

There is little doubt that Artificial intelligence systems are going to be the future of innovations. Artificial intelligence certainly has the potential to enhance the scope of innovation to high levels. Recently, we have seen that the AI systems are used as a help in the ongoing coronavirus pandemic too. But what about the legal enforcement and Intellectual Property Rights? This article discusses Intellectual property Rights, their classifications along with Artificial Intelligence. Also, the challenges between AI and Intellectual Property Rights are also discussed.

Intellectual Property (IP) can be defined as any original creation of the human intellect such as artistic, literary, technical or scientific creation. Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and Artificial Intelligence pertains to the legal rights given to the inventor to create protect his invention for a certain period of time. These legal rights confer an exclusive right to the creator or assignee to fully utilize his creation for certain period of time. Here is a no argument left today that the IP and AI play an important role in the modern economy. It is also a well settled fact that “smart labour” associated with innovation should be given due importance so as to generate public good from it

What is Intellectual Property?

Many of you may already know the answer to this question!

We know that the inventor of a machine, the author of a book, or the writer of music usually ‘own’ their work. From this ownership, certain consequences flow and you probably have been made aware of the fact that we cannot just copy or buy a copy of their works without consideration of their rights.

Now, Intellectual Property laws can:

  1. Protect books, newspapers, films, recordings, paintings, photographs, sculpture,  performances, broadcasts, computer programs, databases, etc.
  2. Brands and logos – by mean of trademarks
  3. Products whose reputation derives from their place of origin – by means of geographical indications
  4. Inventions – by means of patents etc.

Intellectual Property can be Classified as

The term IP refers to novel, value-adding creations of the human mind, a result of human creativity, originality and inventiveness. Some of the compelling reasons for which IP rights should be protected are:

In public interest and development, IP protection urges creation of new works in the The protection of IP rights encourages the commitment of additional resources for further innovation.

The endorsement and protection of Intellectual Property spurs economic development, creates new jobs and industries, and enhances the quality of life.

What is Artificial Intelligence?

There is no universal definition of artificial intelligence (AI). AI is generally considered to be a discipline of computer science that is aimed at developing machines and systems that can carry out tasks considered to require human intelligence. Machine learning and deep learning are two subsets of AI. In recent years, with the development of new neural networks techniques and hardware, AI is usually perceived as a synonym for “deep supervised machine learning”.

AI is the ability of a computer system to take the decision on its own. According to Mr. John McCarthy, artificial intelligence basically is the notion of a program, processing and acting on information, such that the results are parallel to how an intelligent reasonable man would respond in response to similar input.

However, a few years later of the introduction of AI technology, the question arises whether the output rendered is the result of its own intelligence or of its creator. Artificial intelligence systems gathered the attention of the legal authorities when computer work was denied copyright by Registrar of Copyrights on grounds of indeterminate legal status.[2]

AI can be Classified as Follows

Artificial Narrow Intelligence (ANI)

ANI has a narrow range of abilities.

Artificial narrow intelligence (ANI), also referred to as weak AI or narrow AI, is the only type of artificial intelligence we have successfully realized to date.

Narrow AI is goal-oriented, designed to perform singular tasks – i.e. facial recognition, speech recognition/voice assistants, driving a car, or searching the internet – and is very intelligent at completing the specific task it is programmed to do.

Artificial General Intelligence (AGI)

AGI is on par with human capabilities.

Artificial general intelligence (AGI), also referred to as strong AI

Deep AI, is the concept of a machine with general intelligence that mimics human intelligence and/or behaviours, with the ability to learn and apply its intelligence to solve any problem.

 AGI can think, understand, and act in a way that is indistinguishable from that of a human in any given situation. 

Artificial Super Intelligence

Artificial super intelligence (ASI), is the hypothetical AI that doesn’t just mimic or understand human intelligence and behaviour.

ASI is where machines become self-aware and surpass the capacity of human intelligence and ability. 

Artificial Intelligence v/s Intellectual Property Right

Ever since the concept of artificial intelligence has come into existence, the opinion is divided. One group believes that AI can bring about a huge shift and will lead to better quality of human life.

 On the other hand, the other group feels that AI will surpass all human intellect in all domains and machines will start re-writing their own software and codes to re-programme themselves to become the strongest units on earth marking the end of human creativity.[6]

With the rapid advent of technology, there is a belief that AI will become so efficient that it will replace human beings. If that becomes the scenario, the whole concept of IPR will come under threat.

  1. According to the Indian Patent system according to the provisions of Section 3(k) of the Patents Act 1970, computer programs, mathematical formulae, and business methods are considered as non-patentable inventions.
  2. Hence, patents which meet the software patent eligibility test with hardware aspects, working style are granted under Indian patent law.
  3. To mount AI innovations in India broad focus should be laid on reconsidering patent law as India has a massive rise in patent filings due to flowering of start-up’s in progression of Artificial intelligence systems.


There is no doubt that Artificial Intelligence is going to get better each day. With big players like IBM, Apple etc investing handsomely in the sector of Artificial Intelligence with the aim to provide better and advanced technological solutions, AI is bound to boom. Also, with the advent of AI, that day is not far when the art sector nd copyright laws are going to clash. Though the world is unprepared at the very moment, one can expect amendments in the TRIPS agreement in the near time for providing a balance between AI and IPR.


Q1. What is the relationship between AI and IP?

The fundamental goal of the IP system is to encourage innovation through new     technologies and creative works. AI also provides a general use technology to assist in the application, management and administration of IP systems and tools.

Q2. What are the types of AI?

There are three types of AI namely: Artificial Narrow Intelligence (ANI), Artificial    General Intelligence (AGI), Artificial Super Intelligence(ASI)

Q3. In which categories is Intellectual Property classified?

Intellectual Property can be classified into two broad categories: Industrial Property and Copyright.

Q4. What is IP?

Intellectual Property refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names and images used in commerce.

Q5. What is A.I?

AI is generally considered to be a discipline of computer science that is aimed at   developing machines and systems that can carry out tasks considered to require human intelligence. Machine learning and deep learning are two subsets of AI.


1. WWW. WIPO.INT (LAST ACCESS: 14.22, 14/06/2020)






7. WIPO handbook, DL101, page 1.

8. MPR 2007 (3) 204

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