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IP Challenges In Providing A Level Playing Field To AI

Shivani Singh & Abhilasha Semwal


The rise of powerful AI will be either the best or the worst thing ever to happen to humanity. We don’t yet know which – Stephen Hawking

It is a long-established fact that the patent system grants monopolies and encourages people to innovate or invent patentable things. Intellectual properties, especially patents are very significant in the innovation landscape, because of these exclusive rights, the patent system is intended to encourage inventors to share their discoveries and advance knowledge.

There are numerous subsets of Artificial Intelligence including machine learning, natural language processing, and genetic programming, each one functions differently. The term “AI” is frequently referred to as various algorithms that generally replicate the cognitive process of the human brain. Recently, an international and national patent application was filed where the AI named “DABUS” (Device for Autonomous Bootstrapping of Unified Sentence) invented by Thaler was named an innovator challenging the orthodox norms of the patent system. South Africa issued a patent grant to DABUS, hence becoming the first country to recognise an AI as the patent owner.

AI and people do not compete on a level- playing field as the law is discriminatory. Artificial Intelligence is a patentable innovation, but the issue is how to protect the work produced by AI. Hence, the interaction between Artificial Intelligence and patents is a complex one. It is time to consider legal neutrality between robots and humans.

The more AI will invent, the line between how the law treats a human and the machine will reduce. A machine and a human cannot be part of the moral community, but both can be made part of a common legal system. The paper will explore the possibilities to include AI in the legal system and how legal neutrality would help benefit society.


Indian Journal of Law and Legal Research

Abbreviation: IJLLR

ISSN: 2582-8878


Accessibility: Open Access

License: Creative Commons 4.0

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​All research articles published in The Indian Journal of Law and Legal Research are fully open access. i.e. immediately freely available to read, download and share. Articles are published under the terms of a Creative Commons license which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the IJLLR or its members. The designations employed in this publication and the presentation of material therein do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the IJLLR.

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