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Will AI Bring the Death of IP Enforcement Work?

posted 1 month ago

In this digital-centric era, many thriving businesses rely on intellectual property (IP) as crucial assets in selling their products and services and maintaining and promoting their brand image. Consequently, business owners must dedicate resources to protecting their IPs and taking appropriate action against IP infringement.

The recent emergence of accessible artificial intelligence (AI) tools has opened up the possibility for the automation of this undertaking, raising concerns about whether such tools will replace the enforcement of IPs by humans.

Traditional enforcement of IP

In Thailand, IP infringement is considered as both civil and criminal offense. IPs are primarily governed by the Copyright Act B.E. 2537 (1994) (as amended) (the “Copyright Act”), Trademark Act B.E. 2534 (1991) (as amended) (the “Trademark Act”), and Patent Act B.E. 2522 (as amended) (the “Patent Act”).

Under these laws, an IP owner can initiate a civil proceeding by filing a complaint with the Intellectual Property and International Trade Court (the “IP and IT Court”). Also, an IP owner can initiate a criminal proceeding by filing a complaint to either the IP and IT Court or the police.

What AI can help in IP enforcement work?

The traditional IP enforcement process can be an intricate process that is costly and timely for business owners. In monitoring IP infringement in online platforms, IP owners can benefit significantly from incorporating AI tools. Using a natural language processing (NLP) algorithm, AI can understand human language structure, allowing it to recognize similarities and patterns in text. Similar algorithms also exist for recognizing patterns in images and videos.

With this technology, specific sets of data can be used to train AI and enable it to identify similarities in copyrighted works, spot unauthorized use of trademarks, and sort through online marketplace listings of counterfeit goods. Following this, human personnel can review the evidence obtained and take further action, making infringement monitoring less timely and costly and more extensive.

In addition, large language model (LLM) AIs such as ChatGPT, which are capable of generating original written content based on training data, can be developed for use in specific contexts such as in legal writing. Provided that further developments improve its reliability, this technology can further aid legal counsel in legal research and preparing documents in court procedures relating to IP litigation.

Can AI replace traditional enforcement of IP by humans?

While AI can significantly reduce the workload in smaller infringement cases and assist in issuing takedown notices, it cannot completely replace human involvement in more complex cases involving legal procedures. AI tools for identifying online content infringement do not cover cases outside of online platforms, such as counterfeit goods or unauthorized use of copyright work in physical markets. Legal counsels play a vital role in coordinating with enforcement officials, analysing IP laws and preparing legal arguments. Although AI can make these tasks easier, the complexity of IP enforcement procedures still requires a high degree of human involvement.

AI serves as an assistive tool that accurately and efficiently performs resource-intensive tasks like infringement monitoring. However, AI’s lack of self-sufficiency and the intricate nature of IP enforcement mean that, for the time being, human-led enforcement of IP remains essential. AI can enhance the fight against counterfeiting, but human expertise and judgment are still crucial, especially in ambiguous cases or those lacking context.

In conclusion, AI tools can assist IP owners in tracking down and taking action against IP infringement, but they cannot replace the human-led enforcement of IP. AI serves as a powerful tool in IP enforcement, but human involvement, particularly that of legal counsels, remains vital in navigating the complex procedures associated with IP enforcement.

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