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Australian court ruled that AI could be an inventor


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Photo: Ben Stansall (Getty Images)

A federal court ruled this week that an artificial intelligence machine could be an inventor, which can only be considered a triumph for all robots, a decision that came after years of legal battles around the world. …

The decision follows a long search for University of Surrey law professor Ryan Abbott, who began filing patents in 17 countries earlier this year. Abbot – whose Work focuses on the intersection of artificial intelligence and law. For the first time, two international patent applications were filed under Artificial Inventor Project at the end of 2019 Both patents (one for regulated a container for food and one for an emergency beacon) listed the inventor of a creative neural system dubbed “DABUS”.

IN artificial intelligence inventor listed here, DABUS, was created by Dr. Stephen Thaler, who describes This is as a “creativity engine” capable of generating new ideas (and inventions) based on the interaction between trillions computing neurons with which it was equipped. Despite being an impressive mechanism, last year the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) ruled that AI cannot be listed as an inventor in a patent application – in particular, it is indicated that, in accordance with the current patent laws of the country, only “natural persons” can be recognizable. Soon after, Thaler filed a lawsuit USPTO, and Abbott represented him in a lawsuit.

Most recently, this case was found in legal uncertainty – with a supervising judge offering that the case could be better dealt with by Congress.


DABUS had problems with recognition in other countries. A spokesman for the European Patent Office told the BBC in Interview 2019 that systems such as DABUS are simply “a tool used by a human inventor” in accordance with the current legislation of the country. Australian courts initially dismissed also recognize AI inventors, noting earlier this year just like in the US, patents can only be granted to people

At least that was the case in Australia until Friday, when Judge Jonathan Beach flipped over decision in a federal court of Australia. According to Beach’s new ruling, DABUS cannot be either an applicant or a recipient of a patent, but it is maybe listed as an inventor. In this case, Thaler, the designer of DABUS, will play the other two roles.

“In my opinion, a legally recognized inventor could be an artificial intelligence system or device,” Beach said. wrote… “I need to understand the underlying message while recognizing the evolving nature of patentable inventions and their creators. We are both created and create. Why can’t our own creations also create? “

It is unclear what caused the Australian courts to change their mind, but perhaps South Africa has something to do with it. The day before Beach withdrew the country’s official ruling, the South African Commission on Companies and Intellectual Property became the first DABUS has been officially recognized by the patent office as the inventor of the aforementioned food container.

It is worth noting here that each country has its own set of standards as part of the patent rights process; some critics noted that South Africa is “not shocked” by the idea of ​​an AI inventor, and that “everyone should be prepared” for future patent authorizations. So while the US and UK may have reacted negatively to this Thalen idea, we are still waiting to see patents filed in any of the other countries, including Japan, India, and Israel– shakes out. But at least we know that DABUS will finally be recognized as an inventor. somewhere.

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