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'AI Systems Can't Patent Inventions, US Federal Circuit Court Confirms' by James Vincent
James Vincent writes the following for The Verge:
The US federal circuit court has confirmed that AI [artificial intelligence] systems cannot patent inventions because they are not human beings.
The ruling is the latest failure in a series of quixotic legal battles by computer scientist Stephen Thaler to copyright and patent the output of various AI software tools he’s created. …
Writing in the court’s opinion, judge Leonard P. Stark notes that, at first glance, one might think that resolving this case would require ‘an abstract inquiry into the nature of invention or the rights, if any, of AI systems.’ However, says Stark, such ‘metaphysical matters’ can be avoided by simply analyzing the language of the relevant statue: the Patent Act.
The Patent Act clearly states that only human beings can hold patents, says Stark. The Act refers to patent-holders as ‘individuals,’ a term which the Supreme Court has ruled ‘ordinarily means a human being, a person’ (following ‘how we use the word in everyday parlance’); and uses personal pronouns—‘herself’ and ‘himself’—throughout, rather than terms such as ‘itself,’ which Stark says ‘would permit non-human inventors’ in a reading.
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