From the start of the agricultural revolution and for many thousands of years the most important asset was land. Wars were made in order to conquer further lands and increase wealth and power.
About 250 years ago started the two industrial revolutions which placed the power in the hands of the ones which possess machinery and factories. The wars become political fights between the owners of the machinery and the workers.
The third industrial revolution, or digital revolution started in the 50s with the birth of the digital electronics and the computers. All information becomes digital, is processed in personal computers and transmitted through the internet to other computers or smartphones. Companies and nations compete for their control.
The fourth industrial revolution (4IR) is Artificial Intelligence, Biotechnology, Robotics, Self Driving Vehicles, Nanotechnology, the Internet of Things and much more. What is the basic asset in this world? DATA. Big data, personal date, sensitive data and the algorithms which process these data. We know some data-giants, such as Google, Baidu, Facebook, NSA, the tax authorities and more. These players fight already amongst them or against the regulators for the control of the flow of data. The strong battles of the 21st century will be legal ones.
One of their major weapons in these battles is patents. All players cited above, as well as newcomers in the fields of Artificial Intelligence are filing massively patent applications. The European Patent Office, anticipating this evolution, adapted its Guidelines for Examination and considers now more explicitly that AI and Machine Learning are no more “mathematical methods” but are patentable if they solve a technical problem. In the following link one can find more details on the new Guidelines of the EPO https://www.epo.org/law-practice/legal-texts/html/guidelines/e/j.htm
How is Greece responding to this trend?
Together with other key-players we are setting up a strong team of patent attorneys, lawyers and experts aiming at helping at first instance Greek companies, such as start-ups to protect effectively their intellectual capital and manage properly their data.