Protecting Machine made Creations?

israel patent officeThe Israel Patent Office hosts weekly lectures on Mondays for their staff. These are sometimes given by Patent Office personnel, sometimes by visiting Examiners from abroad, sometimes by academics and sometimes by practitioners.

Where the speaker is considered eminent and the topic is considered likely to interest a wider audience, sometimes the Patent Office opens these lectures to the IP profession.

shlomit yantizky ravidOn 16 April 2018, Dr Shlomit Yanitsky Ravid who is now based at Yale, is lecturing at the Israel Patent Office on whether artificial intelligence is capable of inventing or of creating works of art such as drawings, music and literature and whether these can be protected by existing tools such as patents and copyright law and whether these should be changed to reflect the changing reality. Who owns such inventions and works of art? The lecture will take place between 11:00 and 12:15 at the patent office, and admission is free, but registration is required via Tamar.


I studied various law courses under Dr Yantizky-Ravid, including Labor Law. (It was rather odd, as I already had a PhD, and back then she didn’t. However, I discovered that a PhD in Physics and experience conducting independent critical research was a terrible preparation for a law degree. Particularly back when Aharon Barak was the sole guiding star of the profession. I am, by nature, a formalist (which is still a dirty word in legal circles).

perspective.jpgI found that I like and greatly admire Shlomit, but have a totally different perspective on life, the universe and just about everything. Nevertheless, we collaborated on a conference on employee inventions, and various other things, including my helping a little behind the scenes with an international conference on traditional knowledge which ONO co-hosted with WIPO.  I think our relationship can truly be summed up that we respectfully differ.

traditional knowledge.jpgThat as may be, Shlomit has a knack for early identification of hot areas of interest. Her PhD thesis and the subsequent book on service inventions is regularly cited by the courts and committee, and eight years after her conference on traditional knowledge, Prof. Shuba Ghosh is now invited back to Israel where he will be speaking at the forthcoming  third International Conference on the Economics of Innovation conference hosted by the Israel chapter of the AIPPI.

1920-the-golem-dvd-w400Shlomit kindly sent me her research papers on IP and the fruits of artificial intelligence. I found it stimulating to read, but as is often the case, have a different perspective and don’t agree with her conclusions. However, judges tend to be lawyers and draft legislation is often proposed and prepared by lawyers. I suspect that in time we will discover than some of Shlomit’s ideas with become the reality of this profession. I therefore intend attending the lecture and can guarantee that participants will have an enjoyable and thought-provoking time.

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