Lessons for Nigeria: Determining Authorship and Inventorship of Artificial Intelligence Generated Works
Keywords:Artificial Intelligence, Copyright, Patents, Author, Inventor, DABUS, Nigeria
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has gained widespread momentum in today’s tech-savvy world. AI is now capable of creating copyright works and inventions without human intervention. Such AI-created works challenge the frontiers of intellectual property rights (IPR), particularly those on patents and copyright. The extant copyright and patent laws in Nigeria (Copyright Act, 1988, and Patent Act, 1970) were drafted when AI authorship and inventorship were not a primary consideration. The international legal framework on IPR has also not addressed this issue conclusively. Using a doctrinal method of legal research, this paper examines the challenge AI poses to authorship and inventorship under copyright and patent laws. It also takes a peek into advanced jurisdictions which have had the opportunity to address these issues, to draw lessons for Nigeria where a National Centre of AI and Robotics has recently been established and these issues are envisaged to arise as the Centre carries out its objectives. This paper finds that under the extant legal framework in Nigeria, an AI system cannot be designated as an author or inventor. Considering the advancement in AI technology, this will exclude AI-created works and inventions from intellectual property protection in Nigeria. While drawing lessons from other jurisdictions, this paper recommends a responsive regulation of AI technology through a legislative amendment that accommodates AI systems as authors or inventors with a presumption of law that allows ownership, rights, and liabilities to be borne by the owners of such systems.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Eloghene E. Adaka, Ifeoluwa A. Olubiyi
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