Matt Hervey-New Co-Leader of WLG’s Intellectual Property Group, Gowling WLG (UK)

Published on Jun 13, 2024

Member Voices 

Matt Hervey
New Co-Leader of WLG’s Intellectual Property Group

Gowling WLG (UK)
Connect on LinkedIn  

1. Briefly describe your practice.

I've been litigating patents for almost two decades. Alongside some groundbreaking life sciences disputes, I work on cross-jurisdictional, high-value Standard Essential Patent disputes involving every major wireless and wired telecommunications standard and audio, image and video codec.

Since 2012, I've become one of the leading experts on the legal and regulatory aspects of Artificial Intelligence, with particular experience in the impact of AI on intellectual property. I am General Editor of The Law of Artificial Intelligence (Sweet & Maxwell), the leading UK practitioner's book on AI and the law. I am recognized as "one of the leading global experts in AI and IP" by WIPO and I was made a Fellow of the UK's Royal Society of Arts in 2022 for leadership in the field of AI. I advise governments, inter-governmental entities and house-hold name clients on Generative AI. This includes policies, procurement, training and fine-tuning AI models, vetting datasets, leveraging international divergences in the law and technical, practical, ethical and legal mitigations against the risks of unlawful and inappropriate outputs. 

2. You are a new leader of the Intellectual Property Practice Group. What trending topics do you look forward to discussing?

I'm looking forward to hearing from all members about the trends they are seeing and what they would like to discuss. Obviously, I'm particularly immersed in SEP-FRAND and those areas of IP most affected by AI: patents, copyright and trade secrets. The hottest topics are related to Generative AI, especially the legality of training on copyright materials, approaches to licensing, rights in outputs, the distant possibility of changes to international IP law, the possibility of national changes to IP law (e.g. Ukraine's new sui generis right for computer generated works), the imminent impact of new regulatory requirements (especially under the EU AI Act) and the current (and surprising) de facto enforcement of copyright under existing regulatory frameworks (such as competition law).

3. Is there anything of note happening in the UK in the IP sphere that WLG colleagues should be aware of?

On IP: the UK Court is still busy with lots of SEP-FRAND and life science disputes and parties are increasingly fighting parallel actions in the UK Court and the new European Unified Patent Court (UPC). 

On AI: the UK Government is still trying to decide (after five years) what to do about the UK's text and data mining exception for copyright, Getty v Stability AI (concerning Generative AI and alleged infringements of copyright, trade marks and database rights) is proceeding and other cases may be started soon, the UK High Court came to a surprising conclusion in Emotional Perception AI on the patentability of artificial neural networks (an appeal judgment is awaited), 14 UK regulators have set out their strategies for regulating AI and the UK Government is spearheading international work on AI safety.

4. As a lawyer specializing in AI specifically, what advice would you give to junior associates aiming to implement technology in their practice?

Take the lead … if your firm has adopted AI tools, engage, experiment and share your experiences of what works and what doesn't. If your firm hasn't adopted AI tools yet, offer to arrange a pilot with an AI tool provider or just experiment (not on client-confidential materials!!) with publicly accessible AI tools to get a feel for the potential.

5. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? 

I play lots of piano (mainly Bach, Schubert, and Chopin), lots of cooking and cocktail making, and less exercise and travel than I'd like.