Are you ready for ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence?

Birmingham Post - - BUSINESS -

THERE are many trends re­shap­ing the world we live in, but none prom­ises to be more dis­rup­tive than ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence (AI).

What­ever sec­tor of the econ­omy you are in, pre­par­ing for AI now will put you ahead of the curve.

Whether you are an au­to­mo­tive com­pany ready­ing it­self for the as­cent of in­tel­li­gent self-driv­ing cars, or whether you are a bank us­ing AI to an­a­lyse cus­tomer data and de­velop ever more per­son­alised ser­vices, AI is a tech­nol­ogy that will be ap­pli­ca­ble in any field.

Those busi­nesses that em­brace it now will give them­selves a huge mar­ket ad­van­tage.

Per­haps just as im­por­tantly, patent-savvy busi­nesses can cre­ate le­gal hur­dles for their com­peti­tors to jump if they come late to the AI rev­o­lu­tion.

As with any emerg­ing tech­nol­ogy, de­vel­op­ing AI-based prod­ucts and ser­vices to set your busi­ness apart can be a sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ment.

Pro­tect­ing that in­vest­ment with ro­bust in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty (IP) should be an es­sen­tial part of your busi­ness strat­egy.

There is a widely-held mis­con­cep­tion, par­tic­u­larly among UK busi­nesses, that it is im­pos­si­ble to patent soft­ware.

Busi­nesses have in­stead of­ten re­lied on copy­right to pro­tect the com­puter code that un­der­lies their soft­ware in­no­va­tions.

Although this ap­proach is some­times suf­fi­cient for tra­di­tional soft­ware, it will likely prove to give in­ad­e­quate pro­tec­tion for the ma­chine learn­ing tech­niques that are the foun­da­tion of the AI rev­o­lu­tion.

For­tu­nately, the law is catch­ing up with de­vel­op­ments in this space, and the Euro­pean Patent Of­fice (EPO) re­cently is­sued up­dated guid­ance on patent­ing AI. This guid­ance makes clear that many types of AI-re­lated tech­nolo­gies are in­deed patentable, and pro­vides much-needed cer­tainty for busi­nesses look­ing to pro­tect their AI in­no­va­tions.

The most suc­cess­ful com­pa­nies in the AI rev­o­lu­tion will be those who pro­tect their in­vest­ment in tech­nol­ogy with strong in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty. Philip Cupitt, Part­ner, Char­tered (UK) and Euro­pean Patent At­tor­ney at Marks & Clerk. T: 0121 643 5881 E: pcu­[email protected] Spon­sored Col­umn

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