IP Considerations for Industry 4.0 and Artificial Intelligence

Sonia Cooper and Nicolas Schifano

Companies around the globe increasingly leverage new digital technologies such as cloud computing and artificial intelligence to imagine new products and services and reinvent their operations. This digital transformation touches every industry, creating opportunities in every sector for innovative companies to become the new market winners. However, as with many prior technical revolutions, this is likely to create an era of IP turbulence, requiring companies to rethink their IP strategy as they become digital businesses.
The lecture will outline trends of the 4th industrial revolution and how the rise of artificial intelligence will amplify its impact. The lecture will further discuss the IP issues associated with these trends, providing both a historical perspective and more recent developments in the IP landscape. The lecture will continue by reviewing the IP implications, highlighting good practices for patenting of AI inventions, and discussing available patent defense mechanisms in the digital world.

Sonia Cooper (European Patent Attorney, Chartered Patent Attorney, B.Sc.Hons., M.Sc.) is a Senior Patent Attorney in the IP Policy and Strategy Group at Microsoft and handles IP policy matters for Microsoft, with a focus on Europe. Sonia is also responsible for patent portfolio development for Microsoft Research in the UK. Prior to Microsoft, Sonia was Head of Patents at Skype. Before joining Skype, Sonia worked as a patent attorney in private practice in London, having obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Physics from Bristol University in 1997 and a Master’s Degree in Management of Intellectual Property from QMW University in London in 2000.

Nicolas Schifano is Senior Director and Assistant General Counsel at Microsoft, leading Cloud and IP Policy and Strategy. Among his responsibilities, Nicolas leads Azure IP Advantage, a program designed to protect Microsoft’s customers’ innovations in the cloud. Nicolas is also responsible for Open Source and IP policy at Microsoft. Prior to that, Nicolas led Microsoft’s standards and intellectual property policy engagements, first out of the Microsoft office in Brussels, then at Microsoft’s headquarters in the USA. Nicolas is registered with the Washington bar in the US as in-house counsel. He is also a French and European patent attorney. He has an educational background in computer science, electrical engineering, intellectual property and business laws.