Artificial Intelligence and Intellectual Property

Artificial intelligence (Al) is increasingly driving important developments in technology and business. It is being employed across a wide range of industries with impact on almost every aspect of the creation. The availability of large amounts of training data and advances in affordable high computing power are fueling Al's growth. Al intersects with intellectual property (IP) in a number of ways.

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”.

Machine learning uses examples of input and expected output (so called “structured data” or “training data”), in order to continually improve and make decisions without being programmed how to do so in a step-by-step sequence of instructions. This approach mimics actual biological cognition: a child learns to recognize objects (such as cups) from examples of the same objects (such as various kinds of cups). Today application of machine learning are widespread including email spam filtering, machine translation, voice, text and image recognition.

WIPO has implemented and continues to develop its own IP management services and tools using AI technologies, creating best-in-class applications of AI for the international IP system. Find out more about WIPO AI tools.

Understanding the interaction between data and established IP systems is critical, participants heard at the most recent session of the WIPO Conversation on IP and Frontier Technologies

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AI and IP Policy

Intellectual property (IP) systems have been designed to incentivize human innovation and creation. Until very recently such innovation and creation was one of the defining characteristics of the human species.

As AI continues to emerge as a general-purpose technology with widespread applications throughout the economy and society, this poses fundamental questions that sit at the heart of the existing IP systems. Does AI innovation and creation need IP incentives? How should the value of human invention and creation be balanced against AI innovation and creation? Does the advent of AI require any changes to the existing IP frameworks? And do the existing IP systems need to be modified to provide balanced protection for machine created works and inventions, Al itself and the data Al relies on to operate.

These questions were the focal point of the discussions in the first three sessions of the WIPO Conversation.

AI and IP Clearing House

AI is becoming a strategic capability for many governments across the globe. Strategies for the development of AI capacity and AI regulatory measures are being adopted with increasing frequency.

WIPO continuously collates and publishes the main government instruments of relevance to AI and IP with the aid of the Member States. Member States are invited to inform WIPO about any updates in their policies.

Note: These documents are posted online in the form and in the languages in which they are received. The views and opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the World Intellectual Property Organization or its Member States.

WIPO, AI and IP: A Virtual Experience (archived)

The online exhibition, "WIPO: AI and IP, A Virtual Experience" held from September 2020 to March 2021 sought to foster a wider understanding of the relationship between IP Policy and AI and focused on examples of the use of AI in art, music, technology and entertainment.

Watch the archived version of the Exhibition


IP Policy