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Landmark AI "inventor" case discussed by Sam Cleary in World Intellectual Property Review

Posted on 2 March 2023

Associate and Patent Attorney, Sam Cleary, was featured in a piece in World Intellectual Property Review on the ongoing DABUS case in the Supreme Court, which centres around whether inventions claimed to be made solely by AI are patentable under UK law.

Dr Stephen Thaler previously made two patent applications in the UK over inventions he says were devised by his AI machine called DABUS (Device for the Autonomous Bootstrapping of Unified Sentience). However, his attempt to register the patents was denied on the grounds that the inventor must be a human or a company, rather than a machine. On 2 March 2023, The Supreme Court heard Dr Thaler’s appeal.

Commenting on the case, Sam observed: “It will be interesting to see whether the Supreme Court takes a different position to the Court of Appeal, or whether broader legislative change would be needed if AI inventors are recognised in the UK. If the door opens to granting patents without naming a human inventor, this could prompt questions over whether other non-human entities—including corporate entities—can be named as inventors.”

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