AI cannot be named as the inventor, Supreme Court rules in patent dispute | UK News



Artificial intelligence (AI) cannot legally be considered an inventor to secure patent rights, the Supreme Court has ruled.

In Wednesday’s ruling, Britain’s highest court said “an inventor must be a person” to apply for patents under current law.

In a long-running patent dispute, an American technologist has created one artificial intelligence system of which he claims to be an inventor.

According to Dr. Stephen Thaler invented the system, which is called DABUS, a container for food and drink and a light beacon.

The problem arose when he tried to patent these and list his AI system as the inventor in 2019.

He had his case and subsequent appeals dismissed in the US and then on Wednesday received a final rejection of his appeal by Britain’s Supreme Court after an appeals process that lasted three years.

What this case is about is whether you have to be a human being to be able to hold a patent.

Dr. Thaler’s team argued that the law does not specify that one must be a person to have a patent, and that he can apply for a patent on behalf of the AI ​​because he owns it.

But Supreme Court justices unanimously dismissed the case, saying that one must be a “natural person” to be considered an inventor under patent law, and that Dr. Thaler has not argued why he can apply for a patent. on behalf of AI.

The judges said they had considered the meaning of the term “inventor” in patent law and whether it includes a machine, but concluded that only a person can devise an invention, so DABUS is not an inventor.

The ruling does not cover whether AI created the inventions, but only whether it can be considered an inventor under the Patent Act of 1977.

Patents, which provide legal protection, are granted for inventions that are new, non-obvious and meet a number of requirements.

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Patent rights make it illegal for anyone other than the owner or anyone with the owner’s permission to manufacture, use, import or sell the invention in the country where the patent is issued.

It was not successful for Dr. Thaler in his latest attempt to win legal protection for the work his AI system produced.

But as artificial intelligence is increasingly used as a tool for creation across society, this type of contention is likely to become more common.

Whether the Patents Act of 1977 correctly accounts for the nature of today’s invention and the role of technology is a question for politicians.


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