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Description

US District Court decision finds AI systems are not inventors of patents

On 2 September 2021, the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia ruled in favour of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in Thaler v. Hirshfeld, stating that artificial intelligence (AI) cannot be listed as an inventor of a patent. On 8 June 2020, Dr Stephen Thaler filed a claim against the USPTO after its refusal of two patent applications where an AI system was listed as the sole inventor. The claimant, instead of listing an inventor’s name, submitted the patent application stating that the invention was generated by AI. The District Court agreed with the USPTO and concluded that an inventor listed on a patent application must be a human being since the Patent Act expressly provides that inventors are “individuals”.

Original source

Scope

Policy Area
Other operating condition
Policy Instrument
Intellectual property excluding copyright
Regulated Economic Activity
ML and AI development
Implementation Level
national
Government Branch
judiciary
Government Body
court

Complete timeline of this policy change

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2021-09-02
under investigation

On 2 September 2021, the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia ruled in favour of …

2022-08-05
in force

On 5 August 2022, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued its decision on Thaler v. …