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DABUS the AI system confirmed as the inventor and Dr Stephen Thaler as the owner of the DABUS inventions


Today a second country has confirmed that DABUS, an artificial intelligence system, can be named as the inventor in a patent and that Dr Stephen Thaler as the rightful owner of the DABUS inventions.

Following from patent applications filed by Williams Powell, first in the United Kingdom and at the European Patent Office, then by way of an international (PCT) application, the Australian Federal Court in its judgement in Thaler v Commissioner of Patents [2021] FCA 879, handed down today 30th July 2021, has confirmed the patentability of inventions made by AI systems, specifically the DABUS inventions.

The Australian Federal Court has overturned a decision by the Deputy Commissioner of Patents of the Australian Intellectual Property Office originally refusing the DABUS Australian patent application. The Australian application was derived from the PCT application filed by Williams Powell. The International Bureau of WIPO (which administers PCT applications) had accepted representations made by Williams Powell that DABUS should be named as the inventor in the PCT application and published the PCT application (publication number WO‑2020/079499) with DABUS formally identified as the inventor. WO‑2020/079499 was the first published patent application naming an AI system as inventor.

Just two days previously, on 28th July 2021, the South African Companies and Intellectual Property Commission published the acceptance of a corresponding patent application filed from the PCT and the grant of a patent for the DABUS inventions.

Many Patent Offices examining the DABUS patent applications have objected to the naming of DABUS as inventor and Dr Thaler as the owner of the DABUS inventions and rightful applicant of the DABUS patent applications. Appeal proceedings against the Patent Office objections are continuing, including in the United Kingdom and Europe, which Williams Powell is handling. 

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