UK: AI cannot invent a patent

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In Great Britain, too, an appeals court has now ruled that artificial intelligence cannot be accepted as the inventor of a new patent. This is another setback for the campaign of the US entrepreneur and programmer Stephen Thaler, who is trying in various countries to have a neural network recognized as an inventor. The aim is for an AI to be officially recognized as an inventor. The developers of the AI ​​should only be granted the property rights to the patent claims. So far they have been more unsuccessful than successful, but the fact that the resistance is not quite as unanimous can be seen, for example, from the fact that the most recent decision was only made with two votes to one.

In the now from the Court of Appeal for England and Wales it says passed judgmentthat a patent can only be awarded to one person. Because after a systematic interpretation of the underlying law one can only come to the conclusion that only one person can be an “inventor”. Colin Birss contradicts this, at least in part, in his minority vote. He agrees that a machine is not a “person” in the sense of the relevant law, but according to the law, the space for it in the patent application could simply remain empty, then there would be no inventor. In addition, none of the questions would have arisen if Thaler hadn’t been so “obsessed”, he criticizes.

As the inventor, Thaler and his team want to register an AI called Dabus (“Device for the Autonomous Bootstrapping of Unified Sentience”) – but explicitly do not grant it ownership rights. The technology is a combination of neural systems that – like the brain – should be able to generate new ideas by changing the connections between mechanical synapses. The team responsible for this has submitted two patent applications for her inventions worldwide, with very different successes: While the request failed, for example, at the European Patent Office (EPA) and only a few days ago in the USA, Dabus was recognized as an inventor in Australia and South Africa one Patent issued.

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