Robot Inventor Decision

The Appeals Court just decided who gets a patent if a robot invents another robot. Spoiler Alert: not the robot. I’m Amy E. Feldman.

Stephen Thaler develops and runs artificial intelligence systems. One such system, which he calls his “Device for the Autonomous Bootstrapping of Unified Science”(a name which gives an inkling of how much fun he and his friends are at cocktail parties) DABUS, for short, created two inventions of its own, and the patent application listed DABUS as the sole inventor, but the Patent and Trademark office refused to grant the patent saying a machine doesn’t qualify as an inventor. 

Thaler appealed, but the appeals court also found only people can be considered inventors. With the growth of Artificial Intelligence, it’s likely this will not be the last we hear about who owns inventions developed by non-humans, but for now, DABUS can’t file a robot-al. Sorry, couldn’t resist-or. Okay, I’m done.

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