Artificial Intelligence in the Life Sciences Industry — Strategies for IP Protection

AI technologies including machine learning, deep learning, and natural language processing can be harnessed to process vast data sets to identify new drug candidates, optimize drug dosing, match patients with drug trials and diagnose diseases. Recognizing this potential, global biopharma companies have invested heavily in AI technology—the AI in life sciences market was valued at USD 1092.44 million in 2019 and is expected to reach USD 3445.60 million by 2025. But what happens to the IPRs? Can AI be an IPR holder?

This article provides answers to important questions about (future) IP ownership:

  1. Life science companies utilizing AI can mitigate potential IP ownership issues by defining ownership of AI-related IP rights in employment, licensing, or purchase agreements.
  2. Aside from general contractual protections of IP, life sciences companies should consider what type of IP protection is appropriate for their AI-related inventions.
  3. If patent protection is more appropriate (e.g., where the requirement of secrecy for trade secret protection is hard or impossible to meet), the companies should adopt an “AI-Patent Playbook” as follows to obtain patent protection for AI-related inventions.

The strategies described in the article could be adopted to minimize the risks while still harnessing the powerful potential of AI technology.

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