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Protecting Artificial Intelligence Under Copyright Law: Protectability, Authorship, Registration

Recording of a 90-minute premium CLE video webinar with Q&A

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Conducted on Thursday, September 28, 2023

Recorded event now available

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This CLE course will guide counsel in protecting artificial intelligence (AI) and AI-created works under copyright law. The panel will examine issues that arise in copyright protection of AI and AI-created works, including protectability, authorship, and registration. The presenters will discuss the state of the law as to copyright protection of these works and how to overcome the challenges and anticipate and minimize the risks of rejection when trying to register such works.


In March 2023, the U.S. Copyright Office announced an AI-generated work can be copyrighted if a human can prove they put a meaningful amount of creative effort into the final work. AI is increasingly important and is at work in many things used today.

AI systems are based on software and the usual IP issues associated with developing software products apply. However, there are also some unique features of AI systems, and in particular the output of such systems, which give rise to IP challenges. These challenges include demonstrating that an AI-created work is subject to copyright protection in the first place, and if so, determining authorship.

Innovation often is accompanied by infringement and misappropriation. Companies must understand how to protect and enforce their IP rights in AI and AI-created works, and also how to avoid infringement when creating and training AI. Software is protected under U.S. copyright law, but that protection is limited to the original expression in the software and does not extend to the functional aspects of the software. In addition, many AI programs rely on data and datasets to train the AI. While data itself is not copyrightable, data compilations and structured datasets might be. However, even if copyright protection exists, there are still unresolved questions as to whether the use of copyrighted materials to train AI is infringing.

Listen as our authoritative panel of IP attorneys examines the issues that arise in copyright protection of AI and AI-created works, including protectability, authorship, and registration. The panel will discuss how to address issues relating to copyright protection for AI and AI-related works and how to minimize infringement risks. The panel will also discuss what can be done to anticipate and minimize the risks of rejection.



  1. Protectability
    1. Protectability of AI
    2. Protectability of AI-created works
    3. Protectability of data compilations
    4. Authorship/ownership
    5. Protection in other countries
  2. Registration
    1. Importance of registration
    2. Tips for overcoming challenges and anticipating and minimizing the risks of rejection
    3. Redaction of trade secrets in copyrightable code
    4. Registering updates
  3. Copyright infringement issues relating to AI


The panel will review these and other critical issues:

  • What hurdles confront counsel when demonstrating authorship of AI and AI-generated works?
  • What steps can counsel take to minimize the risk of rejection when seeking copyright protection?
  • How does copyright apply to AI-generated works? How does it differ across different jurisdictions?


Graif, Michael
Michael R. Graif

Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo

Mr. Graif is an intellectual property attorney whose practice encompasses trademark and copyright enforcement,...  |  Read More

Oratz, Lisa
Lisa T. Oratz

Senior Counsel
Perkins Coie

Ms. Oratz has more than 35 years of experience representing clients at the various intersections of technology,...  |  Read More

Sholder, Scott
Scott J. Sholder

Cowan DeBaets Abrahams & Sheppard

Mr. Sholder’s practice focuses on litigation, counseling, and dispute resolution in entertainment, media and...  |  Read More

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