AI dossier

Artificial intelligence and intellectual property rights

For a long time, artificial intelligence only inspired people's imagination, but for some time now it has had an ever greater influence on our lives. Many of the devices we use today already contain forms of artificial intelligence. And it continues to develop so rapidly that this progress raises more and more questions - not least with regard to intellectual property rights.

On the occasion of the conference "Artificial intelligence - effects and challenges in the patent system" at the DPMA, we dedicate a dossier to this exciting topic. Our examiners in particular, who deal with this subject every day, will have their say.

"Birth" of artificial intelligence as a field of research

The term "artificial intelligence" was coined 65 years ago: A group of young scientists met at Dartmouth College in Hanover (New Hampshire, USA) for a summer workshop. The initiator was John McCarthy (1927-2011), who used the term for perhaps the first time in his externer Link PDF-Datei grant application to the Rockefeller Foundation for the "Dartmouth Summer Research Project on Artificial Intelligence".

„The study is to proceed on the basis of the conjecture that every aspect of learning or any other feature of intelligence can in principle be so precisely described that a machine can be made to simulate it. An attempt will be made to find how to make machines use language, form abstractions and concepts, solve kinds of problems now reserved for humans, and improve themselves. We think that a significant advance can be made in one or more of these problems if a carefully selected group of scientists work on it together for a summer.”

The Dartmouth Conference, which took place from June to August 1956, is considered the birth of artificial intelligence as an academic field. Among other things, it discussed neural networks, language programming and randomness and creativity. John McCarthy later became a professor at Stanford, received numerous awards such as the Turing Award and is himself the namesake of a prize for AI researchers.

Conference photo

IoT Conference at the DPMA
The Internet of Things and the patent

The "Internet of things", or IoT for short, is currently one of the most important technology trends. It has become "a synonym for the connection between the real and the virtual world," said President Cornelia Rudloff-Schäffer at the opening of the conference "Internet of things. Paths to the Patent of IoT Technologies" at the DPMA.

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Brains & bits

"Smart IP" conference at the DPMA
So many questions: Artificial intelligence and intellectual property rights

"Smart IP" was the topic of a round table on 22 February at the DPMA. Together with UNION-IP, the DPMA invited to lectures and discussions on the topic "Applying intelligence to patenting, licensing and enforcing IP on new technology".

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Thinking robot

Conference at DPMA
"Artificial intelligence - effects and challenges in the patent system":

Experts from various sectors spoke at the DPMA about artificial intelligence (AI) and its protection. Two questions ran like a red thread through the conference with around 130 participants: How can AI be protected? And: If AI itself generates inventions, can they be protected at all?

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Robot, meditating

Interview on artificial intelligence:
AI: On the advance worldwide, but not entirely transparent

Dr. Josef Fleischmann, group leader and patent examiner at the DPMA in the field of data processing and information technology, on opportunities and risks in the development and use of artificial intelligence

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Robot hand with legal paragraph sign

Artificial intelligence and intellectual property rights
The future and the artificial inventor

The extent to which artificial intelligence is patentable was one of the main topics of the AI conference at the DPMA. But there are still many more open questions. One of them is: If artificial intelligence generates new inventions by itself - are they protectable at all?

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Last updated: 12 June 2024