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Only Humans, Not AI Machines, Get a U.S. Patent, Judge Rules

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A representation of artificial intelligence.

The court ruled that individuals, not machines, can qualify as inventors under U.S. patent law.

Credit: Shutterstock

U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema in Alexandria, VA, has ruled that only an actual human can be listed as an inventor on patents under U.S. law, while a computer using artificial intelligence (AI) cannot.

Brinkema ruled that under federal law, an "individual," defined as a natural person, is required to take an oath that they are the inventor on a patent application.

The case involved the Artificial Inventor Project at the U.K.'s University of Surrey, which has undertaken a global effort to have a computer named as an inventor.

Courts in South Africa and Australia have ruled in the project's favor.

University of Surrey's Ryan Abbott said the U.S. ruling will be appealed, along with those in the U.K. and Europe.

Said Abbott, "We believe listing an AI as an inventor is consistent with both the language and purpose of the Patent Act."

From Bloomberg
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