TECHNOLOGY, OUTSOURCING, AND COMMERCIAL TRANSACTIONS
NEWS FOR LAWYERS AND SOURCING PROFESSIONALS
In 2021, the Australian Federal Court ruled in a landmark case that a device characterized as an artificial intelligence (AI) machine could for the first time be listed as an inventor on a patent application for the purposes of the Australian Patents Act 1990 (the Act).
When two parties engage in a merger or acquisition, there are several processes that must take place before the transaction can be completed, including due diligence of the seller’s assets—and particularly the seller’s relevant and material intellectual property (IP).
When two parties come together to discuss a new idea or potential collaboration, the parties are usually operating under the protection of a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). If the parties decide to work together, they will most likely enter into a services agreement outlining their respective rights and obligations, including intellectual property (IP) ownership and commercialization rights. Occasionally, parties operating solely under an NDA may start collaborating in a way that’s not fully covered by the NDA prior to entering into a services agreement because they’re just not at that stage of the relationship yet. Regardless of whether the parties are ready to enter into such an agreement, if there is any potential for IP to be created in connection with such a collaboration (even if it’s fairly informal), the agreement between the parties needs to address the rights of each party with respect to any such IP.
Limitation of liability provisions are standard in almost every contract and are essential in helping the contract parties limit their risk. These provisions typically contain a broad disclaimer of consequential damages and a cap on direct damages; however, it is common practice to exclude certain types of damages from such disclaimers and/or caps.
The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) in the United Kingdom just closed a consultation on policy options for changes to patent and copyright legislation to better protect technology created by artificial intelligence (AI).
When a company desires to develop technology, it has two options: develop the technology in-house by its employees, or contract with a third-party developer to develop the technology. Any time a company contracts with a third party to develop technology for the company, one of the key issues in the agreement should be allocation of intellectual property ownership.