Like the EPO this early January, the USPTO decided to reject patents applications naming a machine as an inventor.

Last January the EPO publishes grounds for its decision to refuse two patent applications naming a machine as an inventor. The EPO argument is that an inventor must be a natural person as there is a series of legal ramification in term of rights, benefits and responsibility not to mention liability.

Yesterday the USPTO reached a similar conclusion regarding the application No. 16/524,350. This application was filed listing DABUS as an inventor and identifying DABUS as an “artificial intelligence” that “autonomously generated” the invention.

While the Patent Act does not limit inventorship to human, it still requires the inventor to have a name and to be an individual.

(f) The term “inventor” means the individual or, if a joint invention, the individuals collectively who invented or discovered the subject matter of the invention.

The USPTO followed a similar logic to the one put forward by the EPO and required that an inventor needs to be a “natural person”. And with the lack of precedent of non-human machine claiming inventorship right, it will not permit AI to apply for it.

April 29, 2020
Artificial Intelligence USPTO Inventor