European Parliament: AI should not own IPRs

Iban García del Blanco’s leigslative initiative urges the European Commission to promptly introduce a legislative framework which would regulate AI’s use and development in a way so as to respect the ethical principles and standards and certain legal obligations. The initiative adopted with 559 votes emphasises that future laws must focus primarily on human-made AI, security and transparency, and inclusion of safeguards which will prevent AI bias and discrimination. It is also crucial that the laws allow for human oversight over any self-learning AI technology.

The second legislative initiative was presented by Axel Voss and it called for regulation of civil liability for damages, caused by AI. Legal frameworks will have to introduce legal security as well as incentivise innovations in a way that will see people trust in AI more and by deterring potentially highly-dangerous activities. Initiative adopted with 626 votes also advocates for a type of objective liability of AI operators to be introduced, similar to how use of motor vehicles is regulated.

Finally, the report by Stéphane Séjourné highlighted the importance of having an effective system for intellectual property rights protection and a system of safeguards for protection of innovators’ interests. The report was adopted with 612 votes and in its crucial part it opposes AI having legal personality and therefore AI having ownership of intellectual property rights, which should still only be granted to humans.

In doing so, the EP is the first legislative body to, albeit by way of soft-law, address the issue of AI potentially owning intellectual property rights, and has taken a strong opposing view. It will be interesting to see the reactions to the EP’s legal initiatives, first from the European Commission, and later potentially from national legislators as well.