The Study Center of the Association for the Defense of Trademarks (Andema) and the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office (SPTO) presented yesterday in Madrid the first study that analyzes the applications of artificial intelligence in the defense of trademarks and industrial property rights.
The research, by ClarkeModet, highlights that Spain can be a world power in these services, but it has to overcome its technological dependency. And it is that the irruption of artificial intelligence (AI) has created a new paradigm in the defense of industrial property rights (IP), affecting both the services available in this area, such as surveillance tools or protection mechanisms based on blockchain technology, such as the rights to protect (metaverse or third generation brands) and even the approach of the rights holders, if it is about avatars or robots.
Brands turn to artificial intelligence to create impact with their products and given the popularity acquired by the metaverse, where interactive and immersive experiences are being carried out, this new technology is imposed by generating avatars and assistants that interact directly with brands.
Recently, the luxury brand Hermes has filed a lawsuit over the alleged copy of its iconic Birkin bag that appeared in one of those virtual recreations under the name of Mertabirkins. Hence, experts wonder if it will be necessary to redefine the scope of protection of trademarks.
The director of the SPTO, José Antonio Gil Celedonio, highlighted precisely how AI affects everything, not only law, but also the economy, science and society. For this reason, he pointed out yesterday that “with this study, we intend to continue delving into this reality in order to be able to answer the questions that arise from the application of AI to IP.”
In this sense, the report highlights how society is already facing the problem of artificial intelligence as the holder of industrial property rights. These are just some of the questions that arise: Will there be works of art without authorship or moral rights? Can artificial intelligence be recognized as a co-author? Is it possible that there are inventions without an inventor?
Among the most positive and least disturbing conclusions drawn by the study is the fact that Spain has positioned itself as the leading country in the application of surveillance solutions with artificial intelligence for the defense of industrial property. However, at the same time, confirming the Spanish technological dependence, since it goes back to position 22 on the list when talking about the origin of the patents of this artificial intelligence.
Among the barriers that prevent the use of this technology to protect industrial property, ignorance stands out, mentioned by 50% of those interviewed, followed by cost (24%), legal uncertainty (16%) or low efficiency ( 7%). “The research shows us that there are great opportunities in this market, with demands not covered by the available services, especially in the area of protection where solutions do not cover even 45% of the demand,” said Andema’s CEO, Gerard Guiu.
The consensus of the experts says that the trend is to move from slow, expensive and less reliable traditional means, to other automated ones that provide greater security, certainty, speed and accessibility.
In addition, a double trend of crime prevention and early detection is observed. AI, combined with blockchain and NFTs, should take the defense of industrial property into new realities.
Normative process. Experts urge institutions to seize the opportunity to lead the regulatory process. They recommend that they define a regulatory development strategy, especially in areas where there is demand, such as regulation for AI, marketplaces and the metaverse.
Observatory. Another recommendation for public bodies is the creation of an observatory of available technology and solutions, bearing in mind that trends tend to change rapidly.
Training. Companies are encouraged to launch training processes within the organization, since ignorance is the main barrier that prevents their use. They are also advised to promote a plan to adapt industrial property rights to the new scenario.