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In this cover story by Asia IP, IP partner Say Sujintaya talks about some of the major IP trends she is expecting to see in 2021, ranging from the COVID-19 pandemic driving up investments in live-streaming services, which raises companies' interest in copyright issues to the growing use of AI in patent searches.

Speaking to Asia IP, Say notes, “The coronavirus pandemic is reshaping listeners’ habit when it comes to music streaming and other digital channels. There will surely be some changes in consumer behavior who will think twice about packing themselves into stadiums or arenas; thus, investments in live-streamed concerts will increase. With these changes, more copyright issues, including infringement and circumvention, will surely increase all over the world, including in the Asia Pacific region.”

The rise of AI assisting in patent searches is also expected to grow in 2021. "The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has started to employ AI to assist with patent classification and searches to help examiners, while the European Patent Office (EPO) has also highlighted how AI could assist with prior art searches,” she says. “Therefore, it can be reasonably expected that AI will be used to assist inventors in prior art searches and analysis of their invention in the APAC region."

In addition, Say notes that there is an increased focus on synthetic data, which provides improved efficiency and effectiveness to machine learning systems. According to Say, “As this area is not yet fully supervised by IP laws, we should see the introduction of a new IP rights data policy that promotes transparency of AI data handling that would be beneficial to citizens."

* This article first appeared in the January 2021 edition of Asia IP

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