University of Exeter’s 2023 Blockchain and Law Conference

The University of Exeter recently held a two-day conference to facilitate discussions between the government, academics, and industry professionals about the intersections of innovative technologies like blockchain and AI with the legal system.

Conference Structure

The ‘2023 Blockchain and Law Conference’ was organized by Dr. Jack Rogers, a senior economics lecturer at the University of Exeter Business School. The first day of the event consisted of discussions on technology-related legal topics and featured esteemed speakers who offered their insights on patent law and the UK regulatory environment.

Understanding Patent Law

Andrew Hole, the senior patent examiner at the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO), opened the conference by providing an overview of current patent laws in the country. He emphasized that patents serve as commercial tools used by businesses and encourage innovation rather than stifling it.

Blockchain Patent Approval

The conference also delved into the process of obtaining patents related to blockchain technology. Rob Valkass, another UKIPO officer, discussed the difficulty in getting patents for blockchain inventions and suggested that the invention should result in a substantial technical contribution to secure approval.

AI Patent Interpretation

The Head of Examining Group at UKIPO, Nigel Hanley, discussed the challenges of obtaining patents for AI-related inventions due to the lack of case law in that domain. He also outlined the UKIPO’s guidelines and emphasized the importance of technical contributions in AI inventions to improve the chances of securing a patent.

Controversies Surrounding AI as an Inventor

To conclude the legal discussions, Hanley addressed the ongoing case involving entrepreneur Dr. Stephen Thaler, who is contesting whether AI can be recognized as the inventor of certain patentable inventions. The courtroom is embroiled in a debate about whether patents require a human or company to be named as the inventor in all cases.

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Value of Intellectual Property

Roya Ghafele, the Director of OxFirst, provided insights into the worth of intellectual property (IP) during the afternoon session. Ghafele’s contribution offered a holistic perspective on the intricate legal challenges presented during the conference.



### News source: coingeek.com

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