In this era of a rapidly evolving digital landscape, rising technologies have come as a driving force behind innovation and progress. Technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, and 3D printing are reshaping industries and remodeling the way we live and work.
However, in conjunction with their numerous benefits, these technologies additionally raise critical questions concerning intellectual property (IP) rights and ownership, as IP rights provide legal protection to the creators or inventors of the technologies. In this article, we will explore the implications of emerging technologies on Intellectual Property rights.
Types of Emerging Technologies
One of the latest technology having great potential for change is artificial intelligence (AI). AI systems are capable of producing original works of literature, art, and music and are capable to revolutionize diverse industries, from healthcare and finance to production and leisure.
For instance, AI algorithms and machines studying fashion produce original creations, and figuring out authorship and possession becomes more complex. Addressing these concerns calls for a re-evaluation of the existing IP framework and the improvement of new legal guidelines and rules to defend the rights of creators.
Blockchain is a form of data storage technology that protects stored data from hacking, being exploited, hacked, or other forms of abuse. A blockchain is a distributed ledger system, which allows transactions to be transferred and replicated between the computers in the network.
Blockchain technology, which is renowned for being decentralized and transparent, has significant implications for intellectual property rights. Blockchain may be used to provide unchangeable ownership records, making the management of IP assets safer and more effective. Blockchain-based smart contracts can automatically enforce IP rights, allowing artists to secure their work and get royalties without the interference of any middlemen.
Three-dimensional objects can be produced from Digital Design through 3D Printing, which is also popularly known as Additive Manufacturing. The creation of 3-D printing has sparked a new generation of decentralized manufacturing, allowing individuals to create bodily items from digital designs.
Traditional production and distribution models have the potential to be disrupted by this technology. This makes it possible for individuals to create replicas of existing patented goods, raising the issue of infringement and counterfeiting.
Emerging Technologies and Their Impact on Intellectual Property Rights
Artificial Intelligence and IPR
Artificial Intelligence is one of the most prominent technologies which has a definite impact on the existing Intellectual Property Rights framework in India. Whenever AI generates any kind of work, then there arise questions like- who owns the IP rights when AI systems produce original works? Or should the AI system itself be considered the creator? Or should the human programmer or the organization that owns the AI system be granted the rights? Clarifying these concerns will be crucial in determining the future of AI-generated works and ensuring fair compensation for creators.
As the scope of Artificial Intelligence is quite complex then there is an impetus to redefine the already existing IP laws. As section 2 (p) of the Patent Act 1970 defines the term patentee and 2(t) defines the term “person interested” which specify laid down the term “any person” can be the patentee and person interested which clearly obstructs the inclusion of AI in its scope and thus the Act prohibits anyone other than the human being to be a patentee.
Further, as section 2(d) of the Copyright Act, 1957 defines “author” and that author is assumed to be human or a legal person therefore protection to the work generated by a machine is limited under the Act.
In addition, AI at times also infringes other Intellectual Property Rights. For example, ChatGPT provides results however these results are derived from the already existing online data which may or may not include the IP protected works.
Since it is clear that there is vagueness in existing IP laws, therefore there are issues about the protection to be provided to the AI content.
Blockchain Technology and IPR
Blockchain generation, well-known for its software in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, has widespread implications for intellectual property assets. Its decentralized and transparent nature can revolutionize virtual rights control, enabling creators to secure their tracks and take ownership of their work.
Blockchain-primarily based systems can offer proof of ownership, timestamps for creations, and smart contracts that robotically implement IP rights. Implementing blockchain technology inside the realm of intellectual property can enhance transparency, reduce infringement, and facilitate honest reimbursement for creators.
However, the implementation of blockchain in the intellectual property domain also raises legal considerations, such as privacy, jurisdiction, and compatibility with existing laws and regulations. As this technology is continuously evolving, the legal framework needs to adapt and provide clarity to harness the potential of this technology while safeguarding intellectual property rights.
3D printing and IPR
With the advancement of 3D printing, it has become quite easy for the manufacturers to create a physical object however it also raises complex legal questions surrounding intellectual property rights. 3D printing allows the copying of work and such creation of new objects will lead to infringement of the copyrighted work. Therefore, one must assess whether the 3D-printed object falls within the scope of exclusive rights or not before creating/acting upon it.
As Patent is a type of intellectual property, which helps to protect novel and non-obvious inventions whereas 3D printing is mostly the creation of the already existing patented products. Hence this is a contradictory aspect that needs to be taken into account.
Modifying, the legal framework accordingly is a necessity and the protection of patented designs from unauthorized duplicates becomes even more difficult as people can easily mirror and distribute 3-D-revealed objects.
To address this, a careful balance must be maintained between protecting the rights of patent holders and fostering innovation, probably through the development of the latest licensing models and enhanced tracking and enforcement systems.
3D printing also introduces the risk of trademark violation as it is easy to create counterfeit products which will eventually dilute the brand’s reputation and lead to confusion about the source of origin. The reason behind this is that 3D-printed products are not expressly trademark protected by any legislation across the world. Therefore, there is a need for specific legislation which will address the issue of trademark violations caused by 3D printing.
Additionally, EU, Directive 98/71/EC or the Design Directive needs to be adopted concerning the protection of the ornamental design of the product. In the EU, design rights not only just cover the shape of the item but also its lines, contours, colors, and texture. Protection may also be extended to items made using CAD files for 3D printing.
Awareness by Education
Training and focus are crucial in managing the complexity of intellectual property rights in the face of fast technology’s evolution. Emerging technology creators, inventors, and users must have a comprehensive awareness of their IP rights and responsibilities.
Educational tasks, educational programs, and public recognition campaigns can help boost attention to IP rights, inspire compliance, and foster a way of life that appreciates highbrow property. We can ensure that individuals and businesses are well-equipped with the knowledge needed to navigate the highbrow property landscape effectively by promoting education and recognition.
Continuous Adaptation of IP Laws
To keep pace with emerging technologies, IP legal guidelines need to constantly adapt and evolve. To identify gaps and address the challenging situations created by new technologies, policymakers, and legal experts need to be involved in current discussions and evaluations.
Flexibility in IP frameworks can encourage innovation, provide readability for creators and users, and defend against intellectual property infringements. To ensure that the promotion of innovation, creativity, and protection of intellectual property rights are mutually compatible, it is a necessity now that lawmakers remain continuously vigilant and keep on amending the legislation by the need of the hour.
The impact of emerging technology on intellectual property rights is undeniable. On one hand technologies like AI, Blockchain, 3-D Printing, etc. are reshaping industries, and on another hand, these technologies demand situations in the realm of innovation and creativity.
Adapting current intellectual asset frameworks and developing new laws and regulations is critical to ensure truthful compensation for creators, defending intellectual property rights, encouraging collaboration, and addressing ethical considerations. Addressing these implications will foster a thriving innovation atmosphere while safeguarding the IP rights of creators in the digital age.