Wednesday, April 12 2023   \  Published by Spoor & Fisher.

The Uncertainty of IP Ownership in the ChatGPT Era

The Uncertainty of IP Ownership in the ChatGPT Era

The issue of ownership of intellectual property created by artificial intelligence (AI) is provoking heated discussions as the new chatbot “ChatGPT” takes the world by storm. It has raised questions about copyright in the work generated, ownership of copyright and even possible plagiarism of works by AI.

In 2021, Patent Offices around the world were taken aback by a patent application filed for an invention autonomously generated by an artificial intelligence, referred to as DABUS (DABUS is an acronym for “Device for the Autonomous Bootstrapping of Unified Sentience”). How is an invention created by a machine? Who owns the invention?

Although most patent offices have decided that AI systems cannot be cited as inventors, these applications have raised questions regarding the future of AI and the evolution of intellectual property law that is required to navigate ownership of these inventions.

In some ways this was reminiscent of the furore surrounding the ownership of copyright in the case of the “monkey selfies.” The case involved a macaque monkey in Indonesia who took a series of selfies with a photographer’s camera. While some claimed that the monkey was the rightful owner of the copyright in the photographs, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in the United States ruled that the monkey could not be considered the copyright owner as copyright law only extends to works produced by human authors. Read more

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