Is an inventor necessarily human? Or could it be an artificial intelligence (AI) system as well? Which case won?
Applicant applies for patent for invention invented by AI system
An applicant submitted a patent application for a new food container that is easy for robots to grasp and stack.
The patent application required that the applicant provide the name of the inventor of this invention.
The applicant named the artificial intelligence system that autonomously generated the invention, as the inventor.
The applicant was the owner of the AI system and the operator of the computer on which it operates. He also wrote the programs used by the AI system and owned the copyright in its source code.
Deputy Commissioner of Patents rejects patent application and applicant seeks judicial review
The Deputy Commissioner of Patents rejected the applicant’s patent application on the basis that an AI system cannot be an inventor.
The applicant sought judicial review of the Deputy Commissioner’s decision.
The question for determination by the Federal Court of Australia was whether under the Commonwealth Patents Act an AI system could be an inventor.