The U.K. National AI Strategy Begins with Consultations on Copyright, Patent, and Data Protection Regime

Rothwell, Figg, Ernst & Manbeck, P.C.
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The U.K. released a National AI Strategy with a ten-year plan to make Britain a global AI superpower in our new age of artificial intelligence.  The Strategy intends to “signal to the world [the U.K.’s] intention to build the most pro-innovation regulatory environment in the world; to drive prosperity across the UK and ensure everyone can benefit from AI; and to apply AI to help solve global challenges like climate change.”

As part of its early key actions, the U.K. intends to launch before the end of the year a consultation through the IPO on copyright areas of computer generated works and text and data mining, and on patents for AI devised inventions.  (n.b., the UK Court of Appeal recently ruled 2-1 that an AI entity cannot be legally named as an inventor on a patent).  Additionally, the U.K. is engaged in an ongoing consultation on the U.K.’s data protection regime.  The data consultation highlights that, as a result of Brexit and the U.K.’s departure from the European Union, “the UK can reshape its approach to regulation and seize opportunities with its new regulatory freedoms.” For example, Article 22 of the EU’s data protection regime, which encompasses protections against automated decision making, may be on the chopping block for the U.K.’s data protection regime.

The U.K.’s approach to data in particular underscores the regulatory balance needed to ensure that data is readily accessible for a thriving AI ecosystem but is not used in a manner that causes harm to individuals and society.  For a deeper discussion on all things data with a focus on AI and ML-enabled technology, the American Intellectual Property Law Association is hosting a virtual Data Roadshow on September 30, 2021.  Leading attorneys from industry, private practice, and the public sector will provide insight and practice tips for navigating this evolving and exciting area of law.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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