The Update with AI – EU Published Regs

April 30, 2021

Intellectual Property

We are taking progressive steps with artificial intelligence (AI) and the EU Commission (EUC) have recently published their proposals over AI.

We have summarised some of the key takeaways by the EU published proposals.

The EUC proposals set out the following objectives in aim of their published regulations:

  • ensure that AI systems placed on the Union market and used are safe and respect existing law on fundamental rights and Union values;
  • ensure legal certainty to facilitate investment and innovation in AI;
  • enhance governance and effective enforcement of existing law on fundamental rights and safety requirements applicable to AI systems;
  • facilitate the development of a single market for lawful, safe and trustworthy AI applications and prevent market fragmentation.


The EU recognises that the definition needs to provide certainty but also flexibility to accommodate technological developments. As a result, the definition of AI in its regulations is:

“software that is developed with one or more [specified] techniques and approaches and can, for a given set of human-defined objectives, generate outputs such as content, predictions, recommendations, or decisions influencing the environments they interact with”

This definition immediately differs to the definition of AI by the EU Parliament for its framework for ethical AI.

To whom and what would the proposed regulations apply?

The regulations would apply to:

  • providers placing on the market or putting into service AI systems in the Union, irrespective of whether those providers are established within the Union or in a third country;
  • users of AI systems located within the Union;
  • providers and users of AI systems that are located in a third country, where the output produced by the system is used in the Union.

The regulations would not apply to:

  • AI systems developed or used exclusively for military purposes;
  • public bodies or international organisations in third countries use AI in the framework of international agreements for law enforcement or judicial co-operation; or
  • application of the EU’s forthcoming Digital Services Act.


 It is worth noting the regulations would not apply directly in the UK. However, they will have an impact. The regulations apply to providers of AI systems who are based outside the EU but place AI systems on the market or put into service in the EU. This is to avoid those inside the EU contracting out high-risk AI systems to providers outside the Union with the continuing risk of harm to EU citizens. The EU’s objectives are similar to those being discussed in the UK. UK governments and regulators will look to the EU regulations when deciding whether legislation or regulation is required and what it may look like.

The regulation may require AI developers and users to rethink what they are doing. In any event, should the regulations ultimately proceed and have effect, users and providers or AI systems will want to ensure compliance given the significant penalties for non-compliance. Given the detail of the proposed regulations, and often complexity of AI systems, thought on compliance is likely to be required soon.

If you have any issues with trade mark or any other aspects intellectual property  that you want to discuss or you want to have a more proactive approach to your IP, we at Briffa advises on all aspects of intellectual property law and practice and offers free 30-minute consultations to all new clients. If you would like to book a call or a meeting with one of our specialist IP lawyers, please contact or 020 7288 6003.

Written by Hasnath Ahmed, Associate

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