Ancora su intelligenza artificiale e proprietà intellettuale: indagine dell’ufficio USA

Il tema dei rapporti tra proprietà intellettuale (PI) e intelligenza artificiale (AI) è sempre più al centro dell’attenzione.

L’ufficio brevetti e marchi statunitense (USPTO) ha appena pubblicato i dati di un’indagine (request for comments, RFC) su AI e diritti di PI (ci son state 99 risposte, v. Appendix I, da parte di enti ma anche di individuals) : USPTO’s report “Public Views on AI and IP Policy”, ottobre 2020 (prendo la notizia dal post 12.10.2020 di Eleonora Rosati/Bertrand Sautier in ipkat).

Il report (id est, le risposte riferite) è alquanto interessante. Segnalo:


  • le risposte non ritengono necessarie modifiche al diritto brevettuale: alla domanda 3 (<Do current patent laws and regulations regarding inventorship need to be revised to take into account inventions where an entity or entities other than a natural person contributed to the conception of an invention?>), la maggiornza delle risposte < reflected the view that there is no need for revising patent laws and regulations on inventorship to account for inventions in which an entity or entities other than a natural person contributed to the conception of an invention.>, p. 5. Alla domanda 4 (<Should an entity or entities other than a natural person, or company to which a natural person assigns an invention, be able to own a patent on the AI invention? For example: Should a company who trains the artificial intelligence process that creates the invention be able to be an owner?>) , la larga maggiorahza ha detto che <no changes should be necessary to the current U.S. law—that only a natural person or a company, via assignment, should be considered the owner of a patent or an invention. However, a minority of responses stated that while inventorship and ownership rights should not be extended to machines, consideration should be given to expanding ownership to a natural person: (1) who trains an AI process, or (2) who owns/controls an AI system>, p. 7
  • sulla domanda 10 (<Are there any new forms of intellectual property protections that are needed for AI inventions, such as data protection? Data is a foundational component of AI. Access to data>), le risposte sono invece divise: <Commenters were nearly equally divided between the view that new intellectual property rights were necessary to address AI inventions and the belief that the current U.S. IP framework was adequate to address AI inventions. Generally, however, commenters who did not see the need for new forms of IP rights suggested that developments in AI technology should be monitored to ensure needs were keeping pace with AI technology developments.
    The majority of opinions requesting new IP rights focused on the need to protect the data associated with AI, particularly ML. For example, one opinion stated that “companies that collect large amounts of data have a competitive advantage relative to new entrants to the market. There could be a mechanism to provide access to the repositories of data collected by large technology companies such that proprietary rights to the data are protected but new market entrants and others can use such data to train and develop their AI.”>, p. 15


  • domanda 1: la creazione da parte di AI è proteggibile come diritto di autore? No de iure condito e pure de iure condendo: <The vast majority of commenters acknowledged that existing law does not permit a non-human to be an author (outside of the work-for-hire doctrine, which creates a legal fiction for non-human employers to be authors under certain circumstances); they also responded that this should remain the law. One comment stated: “A work produced by an AI algorithm or process, without intervention of a natural person contributing expression to the resulting works, does not, and should not qualify as a work of authorship protectable under U.S. copyright law.”109 Multiple commenters noted that the rationale for this position is to support legal incentives for humans to create new works.110 Other commenters noted that AI is a tool, similar to other tools that have been used in the past to create works: “Artificial intelligence is a tool, just as much as Photoshop, Garage Band, or any other consumer software in wide use today … the current debate over whether a non-human object or process can be ‘creative’ is not new; the government has long resisted calls to extend authorship to corporations or entities that are not natural humans>, p. 20-21
  • domanda 2: quale livello di coinvolgimento umano serve allora per la proteggibilità [domanda molto rilevante nella pratica!!] ? Non si può che vederlo caso per caso:  <More broadly speaking, commenters’ response to this question either referred back to their response to the first question without comment (stating that human involvement is necessary for copyright protection) or referred back and made some further observations or clarifications, often pointing out that each scenario will require fact-specific, case-by-case consideration. Several commenters raised or reiterated their view that natural persons, for the foreseeable future, will be heavily involved in the use of AI, such as when designing models and algorithms, identifying useful training data and standards, determining how technology will be used, guiding or overriding choices made by algorithms, and selecting which outputs are useful or desirable in some way. The commenters thus predicted that the outputs of AI will be heavily reliant on human creativity>, p. 22.
  • dom. 7 sull’uso di AI nelle ricerche sui marchi: v. la distinzione tra uso dell’USPTO  e uso dei titolari di marchio, p. 31 ss.
  • dom. 9 sulla protezione dei database, p. 36 ss.: la normativa attuale è adeguata e non c’è bisogno di introdurne una ad hoc come in UE : <Commenters who answered this question mostly found that existing laws are adequate to continue to protect AI-related databases and datasets and that there is no need for reconsidering a sui generis database protection law, such as exists in Europe. Furthermore, one commenter cautioned “that AI technology is developing rapidly and that any laws proposed now could be obsolete by the time they are enacted>, p. 37