UK Supreme Court said AI Cannot Be Designated as ‘Inventor’ in a Patent Dispute

UK Supreme Court said AI Cannot Be Designated as 'Inventor' in Patent Dispute
UK Supreme Court said AI Cannot Be Designated as 'Inventor' in Patent Dispute

UK Supreme Court said AI Cannot Be Designated as an ‘Inventor’ in a Patent Dispute

The top court in the UK decided that Artificial Intelligence cannot be named as the inventor on a patent application. This ruling came from a case involving Stephen Thaler in 2018, where he submitted two patent applications—one for a food packaging shape and another for a flashing light design. Thaler took an unconventional approach by identifying his AI machine, named “DABUS,” as the inventor instead of himself. He claimed ownership of the AI’s creative process and based his right to the patents on that ownership.

The UK’s Intellectual Property Office (IPO) rejected his patent applications, citing the requirement that an inventor must be a human or a legal entity, not a machine, as the reason for refusal.

The UK’s Supreme Court dismissed Stephen Thaler’s appeal unanimously, affirming that under UK patent law, an inventor must be a human being. Judge David Kitchin clarified in the court’s written decision that the appeal’s scope didn’t encompass the broader debate on whether advancements created independently by AI-driven machines should be eligible for patents.

He specified that the ruling didn’t address the question of expanding the definition of ‘inventor’ to include AI-powered machines producing innovative and unique products or processes that could offer advantages over existing ones.

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