On 13 December 2019, the World Intellectual Property Organisation ("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:

(a) Patents;
(b) Copyright;
(c) Data;
(d) Designs;
(e) The technology gap and capacity building (specifically referencing the disconnect between jurisdictional AI expertise and capacity, versus the rapid pace of AI advancement); and
(f) Accountability for intellectual property administrative decisions.

The consultation period for the WIPO process is open until 14 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 The consultation is in connection to draft guidance issued by the ICO on the approach organisations should take to explain decisions concerning individuals which are made using AI.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 organisations are encouraged to respond to the consultation via an online survey. The consultation period for the ICO guidance closes on 24 January 2020.

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