The DABUS appeal was rejected by the High Court this week highlighting further the need for fundamental review of patent laws to keep up with the very technological advances they exist to protect.
Dr Thaler is attempting to establish that DABUS (the AI machine) is the creator of its inventions. In the original decision by the UK IP Office it was accepted that DABUS did indeed create the inventions, although DABUS could not be granted the patents applied for because it, as a machine, is not considered a "person" as required to be identified as the inventor in a patent application ; and that as a machine it cannot enter into contracts to assign its rights in the creations, meaning that those rights cannot be assigned to Dr Thaler to be granted the patent.
Dr Thaler appealed to The High Court and the decision issued this week confirms that the current law under the Patents Act 1977 does not allow for DABUS, as a machine, to be identified as the inventor. As such we have reached a position in which current patent law fails to provide protection for a growing swathe of patentable inventions. The only way around the current legal impasse would seem to be for an applicant to name a person rather than the actual deviser of the invention (the AI machine), which in our view would be fundamentally wrong in law. It seems clear to us that if current patent laws do not adequately protect such inventions, it is time these laws are reviewed.
We are pleased that the UKIPO has just launched a consultation to debate this issue. Further information about that consultation can be found here https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/artificial-intelligence-and-intellectual-property-call-for-views/artificial-intelligence-call-for-views-patents.
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