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USPTO Decides: AI Can’t Be Granted a US Patent

In late April, the USPTO issued a ruling stating that artificial intelligence (AI) can’t be credited as the inventor in a patent application. It’s an important decision and a ruling that will have significant implications as AI programs emerge that are potentially smarter and more capable than today’s technologies.

DABUS and the Future of Pronouns

The USPTO ruling that under US patent law AI can’t be credited as an inventor comes after the AI system, DABUS, created by the Artificial Inventor Project, submitted patents for a simple flashing light and one for a small food container.

Simple pronouns are at the heart of the USPTO ruling. That’s because Title 35 governing patents in the United States requires the use of himself, herself, person, individual, and other pronouns with distinctly human meanings. The USPTO ruled that these pronouns can’t be applied to machines, even when those machines are capable of designing and manufacturing other machines.

While intelligent, AI is still not humanlike and won’t be for the immediate future. In fact, AI is an amalgamation of coding that searches through streams of data that creates the best responses and solutions to any given problem. Many view DABUS’s creations not as humanlike, intelligent thought, but rather a series of very educated guesses that were able to create a viable product.

Thus, for at least the immediate future, AI will not be granted a US patent, regardless of how creative, unique, novel or innovative the product may be. It is unlikely that the USPTO will reverse their decision any time soon, nor is it likely that legislators in the United States will make such a move. For now, patents will remain the sole privilege of homo sapiens to pursue, secure, and maintain.

AI Still Has a Significant Role in Invention

There is no question that the power of AI is growing exponentially by the day. Thus, while AI can’t receive the credit (or bear the legal liability) for a patent, it still has a critical role to play in the invention of products. Indeed, we guarantee that as AI technology expands, it will play an increasingly active part in helping inventors and researchers find exciting new ways to not only build a better mousetrap, but to test and improve it, all while giving it the greatest utility for the lowest cost and production effort.

What the Future May Hold

Will AI continue to get smarter by the day? Absolutely. Will it obtain the ability to deliver faster results and more appropriate answers? It is already doing this, and the rate at which AI systems are learning new algorithms and how to apply them is astonishing.

The fact that AI and societal viewpoints are evolving means that it is not a question of if, but rather a question of time before AI could be granted the right to be credited as the inventor of a patent by the USPTO.

However, while AI moves at the speed of light, the laws move considerably slower for a vast range of reasons. Similar patent applications presented to the EPO and UKIPO by DABUS have been rejected on the same grounds.

We encourage you to contact Global Patent Solutions at (877) 234-0141 for more information about the USPTO’s recent decision on the ability of AI to submit and acquire a US patent. We are happy to help you understand how this ruling may affect your efforts moving forward.