The dramatic increase in the use of artificial intelligence (AI) has brought significant change to the future of work and trademark law. With Chat GPT becoming a buzzword (both positively and negatively depending on who you’re talking to) it’s time for us to explore how AI can present legal risks to your business. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the potential legal problems with AI, focusing on challenges within both patent and trademark law.

Considerations for AI-Generated Content

Utilizing AI for content creation presents a significant legal question. All AI systems draw their information from the internet but, that doesn’t mean they are great at accurately citing their work. This becomes even more problematic when considering AI-generated art. When AI is creating visuals, they are potentially pulling imagery from artists who then have their intellectual property and copyright infringed upon. This challenge demands a closer look at the responsibility and liability of AI developers and users when AI-generated content runs afoul.

Our Attorney, Richard Montgomery is an expert in trademark law. He says “As enticing as it may be to want to join the fray of AI early adopters, extreme caution must be exercised in any industry. At this stage, we often lack a critical understanding of the underlying processes of the various learning models that inform the AI on how and from where to source data. There is currently open litigation alleging that the very information used to teach the AI in the first place was used in violation of copyright law. Combined with the fact that all AI-produced work must be thoroughly reviewed, I would caution, buyer beware.”

Trademark Clearance and AI-Generated Naming

A unique and distinctive brand name is required for trademark registration. When using AI to help brainstorm business or product names it is important to check that they are not overlapping with established trademarks. Not checking for existing trademarks poses problems for trademark clearance and potential infringement. Avoiding pitfalls in the registration process requires working ahead of potential problems, and not responding after the fact. 

Automated Trademark Searches and Clearance

AI-powered tools are increasingly used for trademark searches and clearance processes. While these tools can enhance efficiency, they also introduce challenges related to the accuracy and comprehensiveness of search results. Legal professionals must consider the reliability of AI-generated search reports and whether they adequately capture potential conflicts with existing trademarks.

Counterfeiting Challenges

AI-driven technologies including 3D printing have made counterfeiting more sophisticated. Counterfeit products bearing trademarks can be produced with greater precision, raising challenges for traditional trademark enforcement. Policymakers and legal authorities must explore innovative ways to combat AI-driven counterfeiting, ensuring that trademark owners can effectively protect their brand identity in the face of technological advancements.

In the evolving landscape of AI and intellectual property law, addressing challenges within both patent and trademark frameworks is essential. Trademark law must adapt to the reality of AI use without losing strength for trademark owners. By proactively navigating these challenges, legal practitioners, trademark authorities, and businesses can ensure that AI innovation aligns with established trademark principles while fostering a culture of creativity and respect for intellectual property rights.