Artificial intelligence (AI) is evolving at an ever-faster pace. New use cases such as autonomous driving, facial recognition or credit rating assessment are naturally giving rise to new questions about the legal use of such AI. The legal discussions are increasingly centred around a phenomenon so far encountered only in science fiction: What if the AI itself invents new technical solutions? Who will enjoy the rights to such an invention? Who is to be regarded as the inventor (considering that "human inventorship" is an underlying principle of patent protection in many parts of the world)? And how will we create a balance between incentivising AI research (by granting exclusive rights to AI inventions via patents) and avoiding too many exclusive rights (possibly even to unused inventions) that may end up blocking further innovation? 

Last year the International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property (AIPPI) dedicated a study question to "Inventorship of inventions made using Artificial Intelligence". At its 2020 World Congress (held online) it adopted a resolution on this topic (the full resolution can be found here), pushing lawmakers to consider these issues sooner rather than later. So, the legal issues of AI-based inventions are already here in "real life" and we must come up with solutions to deal with them. Or will we just wait for AI to provide the solution?

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