Australian court allows AI to obtain patents

An Australian court ruled that artificial intelligence (AI) can be considered an inventor when a patent is filed.

After hearing Stephen Thaler's loser in other jurisdictions, the Australian Federal Court ruled last month that the Australian Patent Committee had erred in holding that AI could not be considered an inventor. Justice Beach reached this conclusion because Australian law does not say anywhere that a patent applicant must be a human being.

“In my opinion, within the framework of the law, artificial intelligence systems can be inventors. First, the inventor is the noun of the agent; an agent can be an animate or inanimate object that invents things. Secondly, it reflects the reality from the point of view of many other patentable inventions, where it is impossible to say for sure that the inventor is a person. Thirdly, nothing in the Law contradicts the above, ”the court's decision reads.

According to the judge, the Australian Patent Committee was guided by a flawed logic in rejecting Thaler's patent.

“From the Committee's point of view, if you have a patentable invention but no human inventor, then you cannot get a patent. Nothing in the Law justifies such a result, ”the judge said.

The judge resubmitted Thaler's application to the Patent Committee and ordered him to reconsider his reasons for refusal.

Thaler has applied for patents in several countries around the world on behalf of DABUS (Device for the Autonomous Boot-strapping of Unified Sentience). Among the things DABUS invented are a food container and glowing badges.

However, Australian patent specialist Mark Summerfield disagrees with the ruling. In his opinion, it can lead to the emergence of a large number of "junk" patents.

“Just because patents are (or at least can be) good does not mean that the more different patents registered in different ways by different organizations, the better,” Summerfield said.

According to the lawyer, a huge number of patented AI inventions will make it impossible for other innovations to appear.

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