United States of America: US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit finds AI systems are not inventors of patents

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Description

US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit finds AI systems are not inventors of patents

On 5 August 2022, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued its decision on Thaler v. Vidal, ruling that an AI system cannot be listed as a named inventor on a patent application. On 8 June 2020, Dr Stephen Thaler filed a claim before the District Court for the Easter State of Virginia against the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) after the USPTO refused two patent applications where an Artificial Intelligence (AI) system was listed as the sole inventor because it deemed that a machine does not qualify as an inventor. The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit agreed with the District Court and the USPTO, stating that an inventor listed on a patent application must be a human being since the Patent Act expressly provides that inventors are “individuals.” The claimant filed an appeal on 9 September 2022.

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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. …