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AI cannot be the inventor of a patent, appeals court rules

Artificial intelligence (AI) cannot be the inventor of new patents, the UK Court of Appeal has ruled.

Patents assign the ownership of a new invention to its creator. At its core, the argument is about whether a law written for human inventors can be applied to machines.

The appeal court ruled against Stephen Thaler, creator of a system called Dabus, who took a case against the UK’s Intellectual Property Office (IPO) which refused patents to his AI.

It is the latest such judgement in a long-running battle to grant machines the status of inventor.

Earlier this month, Mr Thaler lost a similar case in the United States – although he has won elsewhere.

The UK panel decided, by a two-to-one majority, that an inventor must be a real human person under UK law.

“Only a person can have rights. A machine cannot,” wrote Lady Justice Elisabeth Laing in her judgement. “A patent is a statutory right and it can only be granted to a person.”

The article was originally posted at BBC.

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