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US Supreme Court dismisses computer scientist's claim regarding creations derived from AI

April 24, 2023
minute read

Stephen Thaler, a computer scientist, had petitioned the US Supreme Court to hear his case, but they decided not to. his artificial intelligence system's inventions were not granted patents by the Patent and Trademark Office.

The justices rejected Thaler's appeal of a lower court's decision that only human inventors are eligible for patents and that his AI system could not be recognized as the legitimate inventor of two innovations that he claimed it developed.

In Saint Charles, Missouri, Thaler created Imagination Engines Inc., a business specializing in cutting-edge artificial neural network technology. Device for the Autonomous Bootstrapping of Unified Sentience, or DABUS, according to Thaler, independently developed prototypes for a beverage holder and an emergency light beacon.

His patent applications for the ideas were denied by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and a federal judge in Virginia on the grounds that DABUS is not a person. The patent-focused U.S. Last year, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld those rulings, stating that it is clear from US patent law that inventors must be people.

Thaler said before the Supreme Court that AI is being used to develop in a variety of industries, including energy and medicine, and that denying patents created by AI "curtails our patent system's ability - and thwarts Congress's intent - to optimally stimulate innovation and technological progress."

Lawrence Lessig, a professor of law at Harvard, and other academics have backed Thaler in his appeal to the Supreme Court, arguing in a brief that the Federal Circuit's ruling "jeopardizes billions (of dollars) in current and future investments, threatens U.S. competitiveness, and reaches a result at odds with the plain language of the Patent Act."

With little success, Thaler has also applied for DABUS patents in other nations, including as Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Australia. Thaler's appeal of his defeat there was heard by the UK Supreme Court in March.

Additionally, Thaler has criticized the US. the choice of the Copyright Office to refuse copyright protection for the artwork his AI produced.

Adan Harris
Managing Editor
Eric Ng
John Liu
Editorial Board
Bryan Curtis
Adan Harris
Managing Editor
Cathy Hills
Associate Editor

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