An AI System Cannot be a Patent Inventor Under U.S. law

The U.S. Court of Appeals of the Federal Court has held that Artificial Intelligence (AI) cannot be named the inventor of a patent, because the term “individual” in the U.S. Patent Act necessarily refers to human beings. The decision was delivered in an appeal filed by Dr. Stephen Thaler, whose application for patent protection for the products of his AI system was denied by the USPTO.

This is not the first time Dr. Thaler attempts to challenge the boundaries of intellectual property protection in the context of AI. Last May, a Federal Court in Australia delivered a similar ruling, finding that the Australian Patents Act is premised on the assumption that an invention arises from the mind of a natural person. In addition, earlier this year, the U.S. Copyright Office rejected Dr. Thaler’s request to register the copyright to an artwork created by his AI system. The Copyright Office declined his request, stating that “the nexus between the human mind and creative expression is a prerequisite for copyright protection”.

CLICK HERE to read the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals of the Federal Court in Thaler v. Katherine K. Vidal, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office