Late last month, the United States Patent & Trademark Office (“USPTO”) issued a Notice seeking comments as to whether Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) can be considered an inventor on a patent.  Its questions “are designed to cover a variety of topics from patent examination policy to whether new forms of intellectual property protected are needed.”

This caused some of us to wonder whether the same could be asked for trademarks and copyrights.  Although the USPTO’s request relates solely to patents, which lend themselves to inventions that utilize or are even developed by AI, one cannot help but envision situations where AI assists in creating other forms of intellectual property too.  Indeed, we already know that AI is creating materials, such as news updates for various organizations, that could be subject to multiple forms of IP rights, making the question even more appropriate.

Confirming exactly that, a post on the USPTO’s Leadership blog states that the patent-related Notice is “only the first step” and that the USPTO plans to “examine the full spectrum of intellectual property policy issues that have arisen, or may arise, as AI technologies become more advanced.”  This includes looking at “AI’s impact on existing intellectual property, including copyright and trademarks, to considering if new legal rights are needed in the wake of more advanced AI.”