UK Supreme Court Affirms Human Inventorship as well as a Correct chain of Transfer in Landmark Decision on AI Patents
Yesterday, the UK Supreme Court ruled that artificial intelligence (AI) systems cannot be named as inventors on patent applications, and that owners of AI systems are not automatically entitled to patents for inventions allegedly made by such AI systems. This confirms previous decisions in the UK, as well as similar decisions in other jurisdictions and before the European Patent Office (EPO). The case involved Dr. Thaler's AI system, DABUS, named as the inventor in 2 patent applications. The Supreme Court dismissed the Appeal and held that an inventor must be a natural person. Furthermore, the Supreme Court held that a person owning the AI system does not grant automatic patent entitlement to that person.
While this ruling confirms adherence to existing laws and existing interpretations thereof, we believe that decision is also important for Inventors and Applicants that have nothing to do with AI. While the first part of the decision is less relevant when only human inventors are involved anyway, the second part of the decision should act as a firm reminder to everyone that a correct legal transfer needs to be made from every inventor to the final applicant(s)!
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