TCS Reports Current Patent Laws Are Inadequate for AI-related IP

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), India’s largest software exporter in association with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), has recently reported that despite the evolution of Patent Laws in India and abroad, the increasing proliferation of artificial intelligence (AI) across the world requires new policies for Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) enforcement.

The report found that the current patent laws treat AI software-based inventions as logical algorithms implemented in the computer systems. Although patent eligibility of algorithms is valid, there is not enough about how to handle inventions with heuristic nature.

What is Heuristic?

In AI, heuristic refers to a technique to solve problems faster than the classical methods. The report cited that AI software is no longer bound to traditional rule-based systems, and in fact, has increasingly turned heuristic, thus showing higher intelligence over classical systems.

The report explained that as per the current patent laws – someone, typically a natural person (in legal terms – an individual instead of one associated with a public or private body) who only applies the logic to make anything workable cannot be an inventor.

It also clarified that machines are frequently deriving solutions to problems autonomously or in conjunction with a natural person, thus bringing the definition of a ‘natural person’ in question. Besides, it emphasized that this issue needs to be addressed by state laws and enterprises. Moreover, data-privacy and data-ownership issues, which would have severe legal implications, are other aspects that require fresh debates.

The report further noted that in the global ecosystem involving multiple players, data is not just accessed but also moved across jurisdictions many times. The data ownership holder or the data owner or the AI scientist who owns the IP rights on an invention is at the forefront of the debate.

It then revealed that AI is helping to develop new mechanisms and doctrines for future IP ecosystems. As the study recommended – the present administrators of Intellectual Property Right in India and outside have to address the IP management at three levels.

  • At the data level: In the form of access to accurate and high-quality data
  • At the IP system level: For enabling the IP systems with AI-based solutions
  • At the people level: To empower people to realize the merits of AI in the IP domain.

At last, the report informed that IBM, Microsoft, Toshiba, Samsung, and NEC were the top five patent applicants. Nonetheless, the Chinese Academy of Science (CAS), dealing in deep learning (DL) with 235 patent families, held the largest patent portfolio worldwide – the report found. For more visit:

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