Artificial Intelligience considered to be an inventor

Whilst Patent Offices and courts in various jurisdictions such as US, Europe and UK have rejected the idea of an Artificial Intelligience (AI) system named DABUS to be an inventor, an Australian Federal Court has in Thaler v Commissioner of Patents [2021] FCA 879 held that artificial intelligience (AI) systems can be inventors for the purposes of the Patents Act (1990).

The Commissioner of Patents (Commissioner) had rejected the patent application filed by Dr Thaler, naming DABUS as the inventor on the basis that the inventor was not human. Dr Thaler then applied to the Federal Court to review the Commissioner’s decision.

It found that the inventor does not need to be a legal person, and therefore the AI system DABUS, can be the inventor. The owner of the AI system, Dr Thaler, as a legal person can be the applicant for the patent invented by the DABUS system.

You will see that many IP professional news websites announcing that this is a “world first” decision. This may be so, however the decision is being appealed by the Commissioner, so we are yet to see if the decision will be upheld.

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