The UAE has been projecting itself as an economy that is ready for the future economy. The country has been adopting measures to cement its status as a future-focussed society by adopting the latest technologies like Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.
In line with this vision, the UAE has recently taken a major step in extending the adoption of AI into the domain of Intellectual Property (IP) protection. For this, the UAE Ministry of Economy has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO). This means that in the near future AI could help settle intellectual property issues in the UAE by applying the technology for patents, trademarks, industrial designs, and copyright.
What is Artificial Intelligence?
Artificial intelligence refers to the simulation of human intelligence in machines. AI is built around the principle that human intelligence can be defined in such a way that a machine can easily imitate it and execute tasks ranging from the most simple to the complex ones. The major aims that are envisioned to achieve through AI include learning, reasoning, and perception.
AI-powered machines are now capable of understanding human speech, self-driving vehicles, powering intelligent content delivery systems, operating machines and interpreting sophisticated data.
The Current State of Trademark Practice using AI
Adoption of AI is mostly in the nascent stage in the domain of IP across the world. However, organisations like the International Trademark Association (INTA) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) are currently doing in-depth research in AI. Many of these organisations have already implemented trademark-related AI applications in their offices.
In a report titled ‘Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Future of Brands: How will AI Impact Product Selection and the Role of Trademarks for Consumers?’ INTA has presented how the use of AI can revolutionise trademarks.
The report says AI could assist brand owners with the enforcement of their trademarks. The process of searching for wordmarks have been effective for years. However, the viability of searching for similar logos or marks incorporating figurative elements has been limited and costly.
AI can tackle these challenges and can be implemented to produce more targeted results and provide a powerful enforcement tool for all brand owners, as per the INTA report. For instance, the WIPO in 2019 launched an improved AI-based technology that uses deep machine learning to identify a combination of concepts in an image to assist in searching for similar registered marks.
The AI-assisted searches have resulted in more narrow and targeted search results. More importantly, AI-assisted searching will allow for improved searching that is more affordable and thus more accessible to brand owners of all sizes.
If the AI-powered system makes brand or default purchase preferences, it may be difficult for brands to target the consumers of direct competitors at the point of sale. These consumers may be already locked into subscriptions and unable or unaware of how to make changes, or AI may be using their historical purchasing decisions to determine future ones (at the same time reducing the risk of the mistaken purchase of lookalikes).
At present, the procedures related to administration involve a string of repetitive tasks. With the advancement of AI, such tasks are likely to become more efficient due to advances in AI technology, as businesses start to rely more on the technology than on humans.
UAE’s Commitment to AI
One of the boldest moves that the UAE has taken in the adoption of future technologies is the installation of a ministry dedicated to AI. The country’s AI ministry has already launched its services to assist various future services, sectors and infrastructure projects. The strategy will boost government performance on every level by integrating smart digital systems to overcome various economic, social and administrative challenges.
Many UAE companies have also started their plunge into the realm of the AI. These companies are developing their business models and hardware around artificial intelligence to ensure that their customers are getting services based on era-appropriate technologies.
Now, the UAE’s decision to expand the AI into IP is the next bold step in its efforts at making the system more efficient and future-ready. If the strategy comes to fruition as envisioned, the business or brand owners will be more confident in the trademark practices in the country. In addition to this, more efficiency will come into the process of trademark searches thereby effectively tackling the cases of trademark infringement.