Generative AI and Intellectual Property Rights: A Rising Issue

Generative AI and Intellectual Property Rights: A Rising Issue

Modern day technology is challenging and changing intellectual property laws. In this article, we discuss the impact of Generative AI on IP, particularly the legal guidelines governing trademark, copyright and patent law. 

What is Generative AI? 

Generative Artificial Intelligence technology creates texts, images, audio, graphics and various data from a database of existing content. Converting input to output from a matter of seconds, Generative AI is reliant on current and accessible data to generate new and novel material, such as new images, video and audio. 

Prominent Generative AI platforms include ChatGPT and DALL-E2, both powered by OpenAI. The former works in a conversational way with the user, generating requests such as essays, code or emails based on user input. The latter converts natural language input to create realistic images and art. 

OpenAI’s success in Generative AI has prompted technology’s big players, such as Google, to capitalise on its momentum. Google Bard and MusicLM are just the beginning, before the technological landscape catches up with multiple versions of Generative AI platforms. 

What does it mean for Intellectual Property? 

The pressing question for IP lawyers remains in the quality of ‘newness’ regarding the content generated by AI technology such as ChatGPT and DALL-E2. Can AI generated content be legally new and original, rightfully belonging to the AI itself, or are artists, coders and creators of the existing content be credited and compensated for their contribution? 

A recent copyright infringement case between Getty Images and Stability AI proves this particular IP issue as one that is up for debate. Getty has accused the AI platform of IP infringement upon a staggering amount of images — 12 million to be precise. The stock photography company is now requesting financial compensation, as well as taking Stability AI to court over alleged trademark violations. 

StabilityAI, similar to OpenAI, hosts Stable Diffusion, an open source image model and AI art generator based on text-to-image processing. The platform has gained immense traction amongst artists and gamers to conjure incredibly realistic images. From an IP perspective, artists have also spoken out against the ethics of Stable Diffusion’s image synthesis technology due to authorship and copyright issues. 

StabilityAI claims ‘All models by ourselves and our collaborators are legal within their jurisdictions.’ (source

Whilst Getty Images has a stronger footing on their legal battle against StabilityAI due to existing IP laws, legal professionals suggest the outcome of the case is unsettled as there are plenty of unanswered legal questions in the modern technological landscape. What does ‘copyright protected’ mean in our modern world? Only time will tell. 

Quality Oracle are proud of 30 years of professional experience in Copyright Protection & Registration. We are well versed in legal nuances and legislations governing Intellectual Property laws, particularly in the ASEAN region.

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