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Patent Law at the AI Crossroads

April 01, 2016

Should patents be issued to protect work generated by computers? It’s a question raised in a recent Law.com article.

A similar question is posed by Google’s recently displayed artwork created by its Deep Dream neural network, this time regarding copyright. The Deep Dream network utilized object recognition technology to reinterpret images submitted by artists and engineers, creating a new piece of art. Could Deep Dream network claim copyright to this artwork?

Fenwick partner Andrew Bridges said he was skeptical that the Deep Dream art could be copyrighted under current law.

“At the end of the day, it does require some human intentionality to create a work of authorship,” he said.

Patent law appears to come to similar conclusions, reported Law.com. Under the Patent Act of 1952, inventors must be “individuals” – people, not corporations. However, the rise of computer-generated inventions calls for a reexamination of current policy, wrote Law.com, citing the thinking of Southwestern Law School professor Ryan Abbott.

The full article is available through the Law.com website​ (subscription required).