AI is a hot topic, particularly in the area of patent law and inventorship.
On Tuesday 21 September 2021, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that artificial intelligence (AI) cannot be listed as an inventor on a patent application (Thaler v Comptroller General of Patents Trade Marks and Designs  EWCA Civ 1374).
The present case related to two patent applications submitted to the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) by Dr Stephen Thaler. Both applications listed the inventor as ‘DABUS’, an AI machine built for the purpose of inventing, which had successfully come up with two patentable inventions. The UK IPO had refused to process either application (considering them withdrawn) as they failed to comply with the requirement to list an inventor and Dr Thaler was not entitled to apply for the patents. According to the Patents Act 1977, an inventor must be a ‘person’.
At the Court of First Instance, Mr. Justice Marcus Smith had upheld the IPO’s decision.