Artificial Intelligence and Data Markets – from Contracts to Public Policy

Paul Gagnon, LL.M. (MIPLC)

The advent of “artificial intelligence” and derived tools strikes the imagination of citizens, companies and policy makers. Beyond the hype and headlines, there is a world of practical contractual considerations that, in turn, should inform policy makers. This talk aims to provide a practical perspective on what AI-based businesses look like today, and the underlying contractual issues that are the driving forces behind such businesses. Necessary parallels will be drawn for current contractual practices in the field of IT, particularly Software-as-a-Service business models. Particular attention will be paid to data markets, and data licensing more generally in order for attendees to better grasp the critical inputs of AI-based innovation. In turn, these topics will lead to a broader discussion on concrete policy matters arising out of competition law, IP law and consumer protection.

Paul is in-house counsel at Element AI, a company at the forefront of the transformations generated by artificial intelligence. Specialized in information technology, intellectual property and competition law, Paul previously worked in-house (Cirque du Soleil, Intel) as well as at the Montreal office of a major law firm (Fasken). A graduate of the Université de Sherbrooke, Paul is a proud graduate of MIPLC’s Class of 2012. His LL.M. thesis dealt with applying European competition law applicable to patent trolls in IT (published at Oxford University Press, thesis director Josef Drexl). He regularly deals with issues of IP acquisition and prosecution, licensing, data management, IT sourcing, Open Source management as well as strategic matters for the hyper-growth start-up that is Element AI (Series A, June 2017, 100MUSD).