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AI Patents The Courts United Kingdom

The United Kingdom is the latest country to rule that an artificial intelligence can't be legally credited as an inventor. Engadget reports: Per the BBC, the UK Court of Appeal recently ruled against Dr. Stephen Thaler in a case involving the country's Intellectual Property Office. In 2018, Thaler filed two patent applications in which he didn't list himself as the creator of the inventions mentioned in the documents. Instead, he put down his AI DABUS and said the patent should go to him "by ownership of the creativity machine."

The Intellectual Property Office told Thaler he had to list a real person on the application. When he didn't do that, the agency decided he had withdrawn from the process. Thaler took the case to the UK's High Court. The body ruled against him, leading to the eventual appeal. "Only a person can have rights. A machine cannot," Lady Justice Elisabeth Laing of the Appeal Court wrote in her judgment. "A patent is a statutory right and it can only be granted to a person."

In August, an Australian Court ruled that an AI can be recognized as an inventor in a patent submission. However, a U.S. District Judge ruled earlier this month that a computer using AI can't be listed as an inventor on patents because only a human can be an inventor under U.S. law.