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Inventors Must Be Human, Federal Court Rules in Blow to AI


hands on laptop computer, copyright concept

The plaintiff's arguments "are speculative and lack a basis in the text of the Patent Act," the Federal Circuit said.

Credit: Getty Images

Computer scientist Stephen Thaler was dealt a blow in his battle for artificial intelligence machines to be recognized as inventors on patents, after the United States' top patent court found that inventors must be humans.

The term "individual" in the Patent Act refers only to humans, meaning an AI doesn't count as an inventor on a patentable invention, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled Friday (August 5).

The decision lines up with courts in the European Union, the United Kingdom, and Australia that have refused to accept Thaler's argument. His only currently existing win is from a South African court that said an AI can be a patent inventor.

Unless the U.S. Supreme Court steps in, the Federal Circuit is typically the final authority on U.S. patent matters. Thaler plans to appeal to U.S. Supreme Court, his attorney said.

From Bloomberg Law
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