Generative AI raises Intellectual Property concerns in Retail for 2024
In the upcoming year, the retail sector anticipates a transformative wave as generative artificial intelligence (AI) takes centre stage.
Marcus Collins, an Intellectual Property (IP) partner at Irwin Mitchell, emphasises that generative AI is poised to become a game-changer for the industry, echoing the trajectory seen with predictive AI.
Generative AI, distinguished by its capacity to autonomously create diverse content, such as advertising copy, visuals, music, and website content, presents a plethora of opportunities for retailers.
This technology promises increased efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and fresh creative perspectives.
Despite the excitement surrounding its potential, there is a growing awareness within the industry of the need for cautious optimism. The utilisation of generative AI introduces a range of intellectual property challenges, particularly in relation to copyright, design rights, and trademarks.
Collins stresses the importance of understanding the legal implications associated with this technology. The autonomous extraction and reassembly of information from existing works raise concerns about potential copyright infringement and design right infringement.
Collins explains, “Retailers can leverage this technology to streamline their operations, enhance customer experiences, and gain a competitive edge. However, as generative AI becomes more widely used, there is an increasing risk that more businesses will get caught out in 2024.”
The potential pitfalls lie in the sources of data used by generative AI platforms.
Text, pictures, video, and sound are drawn from datasets, often protected by various forms of intellectual property. Unauthorised use of such materials may result in legal complications, making it imperative for businesses to adopt proactive measures.
To navigate this intricate landscape, businesses must ensure that datasets used by generative AI platforms are free from copyright materials or obtained with the necessary licenses and permissions.
Establishing robust systems for reviewing and evaluating AI-generated content becomes crucial to verify its accuracy and legality.
Collins concludes, “Generative AI offers exciting opportunities, enabling firms to enhance their operations and engage customers in innovative ways. However, it is essential to be mindful of the intellectual property challenges involved. By taking proactive steps to navigate the legal complexities, companies in the retail sector can effectively utilise generative AI while safeguarding their business interests.”