UK Supreme Court confirms: AI cannot patent inventions


The UK Supreme Court has upheld previous rulings that rejected a request to designate an artificial intelligence (AI) as an inventor in a patent application. Dr Stephen Thaler, a technologist, had sought to have his AI, named Dabus, recognized as the inventor of a food container and a flashing light beacon. However, the intellectual property office (IPO) rejected this in 2019, stating that only a person could be named as an inventor. This decision was subsequently supported by the High Court and Court of Appeal. The Supreme Court judges have now dismissed an attempt to overturn these decisions, concluding that an inventor must be a person and that an AI cannot be named as an inventor to secure patent rights. The ruling does not address whether Dabus actually invented the food container and light. Dr Thaler, who believes Dabus is a conscious and sentient form of machine intelligence, expressed disappointment with the decision. The IPO welcomed the judgment and stated that it would continue to review the area of law to ensure that the UK patent system supports AI innovation. Legal experts anticipate growing pressure for changes to existing laws as AIs become more capable of generating novel ideas autonomously.

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