On 2 March 2023, Robert Jehan and Dr Ryan Abbott will appear before the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom to argue that the Patents Act 1977 can permit the granting of patents for the DABUS patent applications.
The appellant, Dr Thaler, created an Artificial Intelligence (AI) machine known as DABUS that in turn, in the absence of a traditional human inventor, created inventions. Two of those inventions are the subject of patent applications around the world.
On 4 December 2019, the UK IPO's Comptroller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks handed down a decision refusing to accept the designations of DABUS as the inventor in the patent Applications on the ground that DABUS is not a person, as envisaged by sections 7 and 13 of the Patents Act 1977. Dr Thaler's appeal of that decision was dismissed in the High Court and the Court of Appeal. As this matter was considered an important point in law, permission was given to appeal to the Supreme Court.
The European Patent Office has already ruled on the issue in connection with the European Patent Convention and offered possible ways in which AI-generated inventions can be accommodated within existing patent law and procedure. We look forward to guidance of the UK Supreme Court, on an issue that will surely become more and more common as the world continues to rely ever more on AI in the generation of new technologies.
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