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UK Supreme Court Ruling on AI and Patent Rights

UK Supreme Court Ruling on AI and Patent Rights mind map
Recent News
Supreme Court Ruling
Date
December 2023
Case Name
Thaler v Comptroller-General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks [2023]
When
Initial Filings
Year
2018
High Court and Court of Appeal Dismissal
Year
2021
Why
Legal Interpretation
Inventor Definition
Must Be a Natural Person
AI as Inventor
Not Recognized
What
Patents Act 1977
Inventor Requirement
Natural Person
Case Details
Appellant
Dr. Stephen Thaler
AI System
DABUS
Claims
AI Devised Inventions
IPO Refusal
Based on Legal Grounds
Court's Decision
Rejected AI as Inventor
Dismissed Doctrine of Accession
Broader Context
EU AI Act
Trustworthy AI Framework
AI Safety Summit
Held in the UK
Where
United Kingdom
Supreme Court Jurisdiction
Who
Dr. Stephen Thaler
Filed Patent Applications
UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO)
Refused Patents
UK Supreme Court
Unanimous Decision
How
Legal Process
High Court
Court of Appeal
Supreme Court
Legal Analysis
Case Law Authorities
Interpretation of "Inventor"
Pros/Significance
Legal Clarity
On AI and Patent Rights
Impact on AI Landscape
Significant Development
Challenges
Not Addressed
Future of AI in Patent Law
Way Forward
Monitoring AI Regulations
By UK Government
AI Act Developments
EU's Regulatory Framework

The UK Supreme Court’s unanimous decision in December 2023, in the case of “Thaler v Comptroller-General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks [2023],” established that under the Patents Act 1977, an “inventor” must be a natural person, not artificial intelligence (AI). Dr. Stephen Thaler’s attempt to register patents for inventions claimed to be created by his AI system, DABUS, was rejected. The Court maintained that the legal definition of an inventor could not extend to machines or AI. This ruling aligns with similar decisions in other jurisdictions and marks a significant development in the AI landscape, particularly considering the evolving AI regulations in the EU and the AI Safety Summit. The case underscores the current legal framework’s limitations in accommodating the growing role of AI in innovation.

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