AI still cannot patent inventions - UK informs

The UK's Intellectual Property Office has decided artificial-intelligence systems cannot patent inventions for the time being.

Patents assign the ownership of a new invention to its creator.

A recent IPO consultation found many experts doubted AI was currently able to invent without human assistance.

Current law allowed humans to patent inventions made with AI assistance, the government said, despite "misperceptions" this was not the case.

Last year, the Court of Appeal ruled against Stephen Thaler, who had said his Dabus AI system should be recognised as the inventor in two patent applications, for: a food container and a flashing light.

The judges sided, by a two-to-one majority, with the IPO, which had told him to list a real person as the inventor.

"Only a person can have rights - a machine cannot," wrote Lady Justice Laing in her judgement.

"A patent is a statutory right and it can only be granted to a person."

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