Artificial intelligence technologies need patenting

30 october 2019

Technologies in the filed of artificial intelligence (AI) need legal protection that meets needs of the digital epoch. This opinion was expressed by the Deputy Head of the Project Office on the implementation of the national program "Digital Economy" of the Analytical Center Sergei Leshchenko during the session "AI-technologies: to patent or introduce? Business view" that was held as a part of the "Open Innovations" forum.

Leshchenko noted that today patents of technology companies, among which, for example, is Microsoft, are conditional.  "As a rule, AI patents include only description of neural networks, learning models.  There is no full description of the functionality because AI works on the "black box" basis, which means that it is simply impossible to describe all its work. Therefore, we can patent only separate parts, but not the whole AI", - the speaker said. On this background two points of view regarding the need of legal protection of AI-based developments are prevalent among companies. According to the first one, it is needed to patent the technology first, and then introduce it. According to the second one, the rapid development of IT-technologies and their equally rapid obsolescence makes patenting irrelevant.

According to the representative of the Project Office, the current situation will lead to changes in general principles of patenting of artificial intelligence technologies in the world.

"Sooner or later a discussion on the partial transformation of the patent legislation towards new types of algorithms will begin at the level of the World Intellectual Property Organization. It is important to protect AI as this technology is of great value for the development of technological business, and it is a growth driver for the IT-market", Leshchenko concluded.