In recent years, big technology companies such as Google, Intel, and Apple are rapidly grabbing new technologies and talents from many global startups with lots of mergers and acquisitions for accelerating the commercial applications of artificial intelligence (AI) and pushing the implementation in various industries.

Between 2013 and 2017, nearly half of the world’s 120 AI-related startups were acquired by big corporations. This trend had facilitated the applications of AI technologies such as machine learning or deep learning in different industries and various experimental field. At the same time, it also made many startup founders and venture capital have profitable investment exits.

Advice for Entrepreneurs 

In the light of the active global investment and M&A activities, we would like to provide some advice and suggests to those admirable entrepreneurs:

Market intelligence and patent big data support right decisions

AI applications cover varied fields such as individuals, homes, transportation, smart cities, and manufacturing etc. While startups are planning the direction of R&D, it is highly recommended to conduct comprehensive research such as investments, mergers and acquisitions, patent big data to accurately focus on the right directions. In addition, the intelligence of the global M&A activities, the investment of well-known venture capitals, competitor’s R&D directions and the same or similar technology others are developing are also important for startups to catch. These researches will help startups gain the opportunities to integrate its core values into global trend and surely increase the possibility to profitability.

Gathering talents and incentives

Gathering the talents should be the first one priority for development AI business. Startups can use the information such as academics, industry intelligence or patents to position the talents it wants and leverage various transaction models such as joint development, consultant, licensing, technology transfer, or joint venture to connect with these talents. Of course, stock option plan plays a critical role to attract talents willing to make long-term commitment.

Tactics in IP

Protection

Gathering the talents should be the first one priority for development AI business. Startups can use the information such as academics, industry intelligence or patents to position the talents it wants and leverage various transaction models such as joint development, consultant, licensing, technology transfer, or joint venture to connect with these talents. Of course, stock option plan plays a critical role to attract talents willing to make long-term commitment.

Ownership

During the development process of artificial intelligence, certain project often involves lots of professionals, engineers or date analysis talents. Consequently, how the R&D results and intellectual properties derived from the development process belong, utilize and how the derivative benefit distribute among parties and stakeholders are also necessary to be clarified while moving forward.

Personal Data Protection

The big data obtained during the development of artificial intelligence involves privacy and personal data security protection issues. For example, Royal Free NHS and DeepMind case were found to be in violation of the UK Data Protection Act and forced to terminate the project. Therefore, we shall pre-evaluate the privacy infringement risk carefully that may result from data collection or transmission and minimize the data spreading unless it’s necessary.

Also, during the development period, the data may be distributed between data processors, cloud computing storage service providers, terminal device developers, academics and professionals, thus it is also necessary to establish a management and compliance mechanism according to the task division on the range, extent and content of information that can be accessed by the different enterprises or individuals. In this way, it is possible to avoid the violation of the law of various countries. Such management mechanisms need to cover the entire process from data sources, data collection, purpose of use, way of use, use permission, use records, data transmission, data destruction, and data management.

About the Author: Aileen Chang| Charles Wang 

Aileen Chang is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of WISPRO .She specializes in International Business Law, Intellectual Property Law and IP Transactions. Ms. Chang concentrates her practice on investment and complex transactions with a particular focus on intellectual property, licensing, technology transfer.

Mr. Wang is a practicing attorney in Wispro’s Taiwan office, focusing on intellectual property litigation, transaction risk prevention and commercial disputes resolution. Mr. Wang had experience in serving clients from various industries and devotes to clarify and satisfy clients’ best interests and prosper the clients to success.

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