UK Court says AI cannot be listed as patent inventor


The Court of Appeal of England and Wales dismissed a man’s plea to have his AI system recognized as the inventor of two patents. Stephen Thaler, founder of US-based Imagination Engines, is hellbent on getting intelligent machines the credit he reckons they deserve.

Thaler’s pleas were previously upheld in South Africa and Australia, and rejected in the USA. Thaler didn’t just want the designs patented, he wanted to set a precedent that software can be a recognized inventor. “Only a person can have rights. A machine cannot,” said Lady Justice Elizabeth Laing. Lord Justice Birss, on the other hand, agreed that ‘the creator of the inventions in this case was a machine is no impediment to patents being granted to this applicant…’

Editorial note: With the UK and US on one side and Australia and South Africa on the other the battle for legally accepting AI as a creative entity is just starting.