> Presentation on AI and law at the Think Tank Digitales Münsterland




On September 23rd Yannik Borutta, Matthias Haag and Johannes Kevekordes from the research project GOAL (Governance of and through Algorithms) gave a lecture at the think tank “the Enabling Networks Digitales Münsterland” on practice-oriented legal questions related to the topic of artificial intelligence. They offered an overview of liability, data protection and intellectual property rights when using AI applications.

The three researchers from the Institute for Information, Telecommunications and Media Law of the WWU Münster deal with the possibilities of regulating AI in different legal areas just as well as discrimination, patent and liability law within the GOAL project. In this digital event, they provided all AI interested parties with detailed expert contributions, on the basis of which a discussion with the participants could then take place.

After briefly discussing the concept of “artificial intelligence”, Yannik Borutta then presented the patent law framework for the protection of inventions generated by AI. He presented numerous problems, such as the question of the inventor: who is the inventor when AI has been used in the invention process? He concluded that, according to the current legal situation, there is hardly any possibility of obtaining a patent for an AI-generated invention. Despite all, if a legal reform were to be aimed at, some very profound considerations would still have to be made, such as the question of who should become the owner of the property right.

Afterwards Johannes Kevekordes took the participants into the legal realm of the protection of trade secrets. In particular, he discussed the new Trade Secret Protection Act, which implements the so-called “Know-How”-directive of the EU. In addition to examples of appropriate secrecy measures, he also explained the legal consequences in the event that a competitor gained access to protected data through unauthorized access to trade secrets.

As artificial intelligence often goes hand in hand with the processing of personal data, a brief look at data protection law was also not to be missed. It is of central importance whether the processed data is anonymised.

This was followed by a presentation by Matthias Haag (Project Manager GOAL-ITM) on the relationship between AI and liability law. In doing so, he dealt with the different liability regulations of German civil law. He pointed out who can be held liable in case of a faulty AI, but also in case of damages caused by the (also faultless) AI application. An excursus then led the participants to the liability of Predictive Maintance. A concluding outlook on future regulation possibilities then enabled a detailed discussion among the audience.

The three scientists were pleased with the lively participation and the forum of the think. The think tank is part of the overall project “Enabling Networks Münsterland”, which is a regional networking initiative that aims to establish networks between different regional protagonists and to organise their cooperation at regional level. Representatives from companies, science and associations sit in the think tank and brood together about the innovative use of AI technology in business and society. Special emphasis is placed on the potential that the use of AI offers for the Münsterland region.