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Life science firms that use artificial intelligence can avoid IP ownership difficulties by clarifying who owns AI-related intellectual property rights in employment, licensing, or purchase agreements.
FREMONT, CA : Artificial intelligence (AI) is a fast-growing sector of the life sciences industry, with applications in drug development, biotechnology, medical diagnosis, clinical trials, precision and customized medicine, and patient monitoring. The increased availability of ‘big data’ is likely to blame for the current increase in AI use in this area. Machine learning, deep learning, and natural language processing are examples of AI technologies that can be used to process large data sets to find novel medication candidates, optimize drug dosing, match patients to drug trials, and diagnose diseases.
Recognizing this potential, worldwide biopharma businesses have made significant investments in AI technology, with the AI in the life sciences market valued at USD 1092.44 million in 2019 and predicted to reach USD 3445.60 million by 2025.
Unsurprisingly, investors in this industry are eager to safeguard their AI-related breakthroughs with intellectual property. However, unlike traditional life sciences ideas, IP protection for AI-related innovations presents basic concerns of inventorship, patent eligibility, and public disclosure that the current US patent system does not simply address.
For example, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) rejected the notion that an AI ‘machine’ can be an inventor last year. Consider the following two scenarios in the pharmaceutical industry:
AI-Related Intellectual Property (IP) Rights Should Be Defined Contractually
First, life science firms that use AI can avoid IP ownership difficulties by clarifying who owns AI-related IP rights in employment, licensing, or purchase agreements. Such agreements should also state who will control the data, information, or outcomes generated by AI, who will be able to use it, and how they will be utilized. For example, in the second case, IBM may explicitly maintain all IP rights in the AI system while licensing specific IP rights in the AI system's output, such as new medication compounds, to a pharmaceutical business. Furthermore, such agreements should specify who is responsible for the actions conducted and outcomes obtained by AI systems now and in the future.