Science & Technology

UK Supreme Court Says About Impossibility of Call AI as Inventor

The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom ruled that, from a legal point of view, it is not possible to designate artificial intelligence as an inventor to ensure patent rights.

UK Supreme Court Says About Impossibility of Call AI as Inventor

The decision issued by the Supreme Court of the UK on Wednesday, December 20, notes that the inventor must be a person. It is separately indicated that the participation of a living person is required to apply for patents.

This ruling was made public after technologist Dr. Stephen Thaler referred his protracted dispute with the Intellectual Property Office to the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom over an attempt to include the AI he created in the list of inventors for two patents.

Mr. Thaler says that a machine with artificial intelligence called DABUS has created a container for food and drinks and a light beacon in the process of autonomous operation. He insists that in this case, digital intelligence is the copyright holder for the mentioned inventions. The Intellectual Property Office has stated that DABUS cannot obtain the status Mr. Thaler is talking about because it is not a living person.

The dispute focused on how applications are filed under the 1977 Patents Act. In this case, the judges were not faced with the task of clarifying the reliability of information about the involvement of artificial intelligence in the creation of inventions.

Lord Kitchin agreed with the decision of the Intellectual Property Office, stating that DABUS is not and was not the inventor of any new product or process described in patent applications.

The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom rejected Stephen Thaler’s argument that he had the right to apply for patents for developments created by an artificial intelligence machine because he is its owner. Lord Kitchin stated that DABUS is a machine without a legal entity, noting that Mr. Thaler does not have an independent right to obtain a patent for any such technical achievement.

Documents ensuring the protection of legal rights are provided for inventions that must meet several criteria, including novelty, inventiveness, suitability for manufacture, or application. Patents for the process or method of doing something are granted following government guidelines.

The case of Stephen Thaler reached the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom against the background of studying developments in the artificial intelligence industry, such as OpenAI ChatGPT, including the potential impact of these digital products on education, the state of affairs in the labor market and the dissemination of information that does not correspond to reality.

During the hearings, the lawyers of the owner of DABUS drew attention to the fact that patent law does not exclude inventors who are not human and does not contain any requirements about the nature of the developer. In response, it was stated that legal regulations require the identification of the person or persons involved in the creation of the product.

To some extent, the proceedings concerning DABUS have historical and symbolic significance. This is the case when advanced technologies, the degree of complexity of which activity corresponds to the qualitative level of human work, turned out to be in one of the segments of the people operating space as an independent functional unit. DABUS was in a sense rejected by the current system of legislation, but artificial intelligence will increasingly remind itself, including in the legal sphere. Against this background, the principles of human relationships will likely be adapted to interact with AI and recognize it as a separate participant in the global process of existence.

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Serhii Mikhailov

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Serhii’s track record of study and work spans six years at the Faculty of Philology and eight years in the media, during which he has developed a deep understanding of various aspects of the industry and honed his writing skills; his areas of expertise include fintech, payments, cryptocurrency, and financial services, and he is constantly keeping a close eye on the latest developments and innovations in these fields, as he believes that they will have a significant impact on the future direction of the economy as a whole.