December 2, 2023

The US Supreme Court was prompted to decide whether artificial intelligence can be patented

By Blake Britton

(Reuters) – A computer scientist who led a global campaign to patent inventions created by his artificial intelligence system continued his case at the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday.

Stephen Thaler has reviewed an appeals court ruling at the High Court that only human inventors can be granted patents and that his artificial intelligence system cannot be considered the legal creator of the inventions it creates.

Artificial intelligence is used to innovate in areas ranging from medicine to energy, and rejecting patents created by artificial intelligence “limits the ability of our patent system — and thwarts Congress’ intent — to optimally stimulate innovation,” Thaler said in his brief. Innovation and Technological Progress”.

Thaler created unique prototypes for his DABUS system, a drink holder and light bulb.

The US Patent and Trademark Office and a federal court in Virginia rejected patent applications for the invention on the grounds that DABUS was not a person. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld those decisions last year and held that U.S. patent law unequivocally requires inventors to be human.

“Nowhere in the text of the Patent Act did Congress limit the term ‘inventor’ or ‘individual’ within its definition — only to natural persons,” Thaler’s petition said.

Provisions like the Patent Act “use broad language designed to accommodate technological change,” the petition says.

The United States Copyright Office denied Thaler’s request for patent protection for art created by artificial intelligence, which Thaler appealed. In a separate dispute, the office in February also rejected the copyright for images created by an artist with an artificial intelligence system that Midjourney is developing.

Thaler has applied for patents on DABUS in other countries, including the UK, South Africa, Australia and Saudi Arabia.