The ownership debate: Intellectual property in AI. Who does it belong to?

With the rise in the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in all forms, the question is becoming more present than ever – who owns the intellectual property in a work created with the use of AI?

In Australia, there is currently no law specific to the ownership of intellectual property created in computer-generated works, whether that be art, music drafting documents, or other written works.

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IP ├ IP???: The Logic Of Election Year Legal Disputes Over Proprietary Intangibles

Title? Typo? Cryptic code? Equation?

Really it is a combination of three of the four. In other words, it is not a typo (You can look elsewhere in this piece for those).

One key to understanding the reference above is the mathematical logic symbol ├, which is known as the “’turnstile’…because of its resemblance to a typical turnstile if viewed from above. It is also referred to as tee.” It is meant to mean “yields” or “entails,” and here the familiar initials “IP” are used to the right of the turnstile with question marks as an indication of “intellectual property” (that “umbrella term for a set of intangible assets or assets that are not physical in nature”) and the questions it raises. The “IP” to the left of the turnstile is not tautological—it stands for “interesting politics,” leaving the tail of the title to be a logic language shorthand for “Interesting Politics Yield Intellectual Property Questions.” 

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U.S. House Unveils the Latest Attempt at a U.S. Privacy Law: The American Privacy Rights Act

The United States is among the minority of large economies in the world without a comprehensive national privacy law. In the absence of such a law, numerous states are filling the void with a complex assortment of often inconsistent privacy laws.

However, unexpected legislative developments in the U.S. House of Representatives will potentially resolve the challenges raised by the current patchwork of conflicting state laws. On April 7, 2024, House members announced a draft bill for the American Privacy Rights Act (APRA). The bill still has many hurdles to overcome and may ultimately share the same fate as prior failed attempts at a federal privacy law. But if enacted, the APRA would upend the U.S. privacy landscape.

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New Guidance on the Subject of Comparative Advertising and Dilution of Goodwill

In 2023, the Federal Court of Canada released its decision in Energizer Brands, LLC and Energizer Canada Inc. v. Gillette Company (2023 FC 804). The decision clarifies some of the laws applicable to comparative advertising in this country and should guide the conduct of parties that engage in this form of commercial activity.

Energizer sued Duracell over a sticker advertising campaign that claimed that Duracell’s batteries lasted longer than their Energizer equivalents. The Duracell advertisements referred to Energizer both directly and indirectly with phrases such as “the bunny brand” or “the next leading competitive brand”.

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Should Disclaimers Always Be Made in U.S. Trademark Applications?

Suppose you have a pending U.S. trademark application for your trademark on goods or services for your business and a term or wording in the trademark is descriptive of your goods or services. During the examination of your trademark application, the examining attorney refuses registration because the term is merely descriptive of your goods or services and requires a disclaimer. Should you always agree to the disclaimer because your trademark application will be passed onto publication? The answer is NO! and you should argue against the requirement for a disclaimer particularly if the descriptive term is a unitary or incongruous term or a double entendre.

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Comma, Comma, Comma, Comma, Comma Chameleon: How Punctuation Can Color IP & Other Legal Rights

“[T]he comma…this capricious bit of punctuation…”

United States v. Ron Pair Enterprises, Inc., 489 US 235, 249
(1989) (O’Connor, J, dissenting)

For want of a comma, we have this case.”

O’Connor  et al. v. Oakhurst Dairy et al.,
851 F.3d 69, 70 (1st Cir. 2017)

“But, when pressed, I do find I have strong views about commas.”

Holy Writ by Mary Norris
THE NEW YORKER, February 16, 2015

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Usage of ad words by a competitor does not amount to trademark infringement

Google AdWords have long been used by businesses to ensure that their business listings feature on top of the Google search results when the users search for particular terms (which have been bought by a business from Google). While this process may sound perfectly fine when the ad words pertain to one’s trademarks or generic words, what happens when an entity starts purchasing the ad words for a competitor’s trademarks? Does it amount to trademark infringement or is it permissible since there is no actual use of the trademark (by an entity that is purchasing the competitor’s ad word)?

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Australian Intellectual Property Reforms Ahead

2024 appears to be a year of change in the Australian Intellectual Property realm, with the adoption by IP Australia of the Madrid Goods and Services List and the introduction of the Intellectual Property Laws Amendment (Regulator Performance) Act 2023.

Adoption of the Madrid Goods and Services List

In January 2024 IP Australia announced that it would replace the current Trade Marks Goods and Services List with the Madrid Goods and Services List (MGS list) in March 2024. This change will align IP Australia’s classification of goods and services for trade mark applications with international best practices, and the standards used by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

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UK appeal court: beware of the “side-by-side” trade mark comparison

Iconix Luxembourg Holdings SARL v Dream Pairs Europe Inc & Anor [2024] EWCA Civ 29 (26 January 2024)

When assessing the likelihood of confusion between two marks in a trade mark clearance or infringement context, the orthodox approach of the diligent IP practitioner might be to set the two marks out next to one another, analysing them primarily from the perspective of the average consumer at the point of sale. Whilst the prospect of confusion arising after this point should be considered, it is unlikely to be the focus. A recent UK court of Appeal decision has, however, underlined that this technical, square-on comparison does not in fact reflect the real worlds that brands inhabit, and the various ways in which the average consumer can be confused by them even after a product has been sold.

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The protection of works created from the human intellect, under the legislations that have adopted a droit d’auter system, is centered on the relationship existing between the individual who created the work, and the piece that constitutes the protected work.

Therefore, the legal regulations which govern the prerogatives that the creator has concerning the protected work are supported on the premise that the creator is a human being, who has expressed and portrayed, in a tangible fashion, his or her idea or mental creation.  

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