Managing IP is part of the Delinian Group, Delinian Limited, 4 Bouverie Street, London, EC4Y 8AX, Registered in England & Wales, Company number 00954730
Copyright © Delinian Limited and its affiliated companies 2023

Accessibility | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Modern Slavery Statement

IP Australia appeals seminal AI inventorship ruling


Australia's commissioner of patents has filed an appeal against a decision to recognise an artificial intelligence tool as an inventor

The commissioner of patents in Australia has filed an appeal against a decision from the country’s Federal Court that recognised an artificial intelligence tool called DABUS as an inventor on a patent, it was announced today, August 30.

The appeal in Thaler v Commissioner of Patents was filed on Friday, August 27, in the Victoria Registry of the Federal Court of Australia and will soon be decided by the full court.

In a news release, IP Australia said: “The appeal is centered on questions of law and the interpretation of the patents legislation as it currently stands.

“The commissioner considers that the legislation is incompatible with permitting an AI to be an inventor, and that the issue is one of public importance.”

The office also stressed that the appeal did not represent a policy position from the Australian government on whether AI should or could ever be considered to be an inventor on a patent application.

The Australian patent for DABUS – which stands for Device for the Autonomous Bootstrapping of Unified Sentience – is just one of many similar applications that have been filed worldwide, some of which have already been rejected in the UK, the US and at the EPO.

Australia was the first country to judicially recognise AI inventorship on July 30 2021, two days after South Africa became the first country to issue a patent designating an AI tool as an inventor.

Justice Jonathan Beach, who handed down the judgment, had based his decision on the reasoning that the word “inventor”, an agent noun, was not defined in the Patents Act or the Patents Regulations.

Accordingly, he found, if an AI system was the agent that invented, it could be described as an inventor.

The appeal is likely to shed some light on the legislative intent behind the term inventor included in the Patents Act as well as on whether inventive step is of concern while determining AI inventorship.

Counsel will no doubt be interested to find out whether the Federal Court’s decision, which has been lauded as forward-looking, will hold water before the full court.

more from across site and ros bottom lb

More from across our site

Civil society and industry representatives met in Geneva on Thursday, September 28 to discuss a potential expansion of the TRIPS waiver
Sources say the beta version of the USPTO’s new trademark search tool is a big improvement over the current system but that it isn’t perfect
Canadian counsel weigh in on the IP office’s decision to raise trademark filing fees in 2024 and how they’re preparing clients
We provide a rundown of Managing IP’s news and analysis coverage from the week, and review what’s been happening elsewhere in IP
Shira Perlmutter, US Register of Copyrights, discussed the Copyright Office's role in forming generative AI policy during a House of Representatives hearing
The award marks one of the highest-ever damages received by a foreign company in a trademark infringement suit in China
Two orders denying public access to documents have reignited a debate over a lack of transparency at the new court
Rouse’s new chief of operations and the firm’s CEO tell Managing IP why they think private equity backing will help it conquer Europe
Brian Landry, partner at Saul Ewing, reveals how applicants can prosecute patent applications in the wake of the Federal Circuit's In re Cellect ruling
Ronelle Geldenhuys of Australia’s Foundry IP considers the implications complex computer technologies such as AI have on decision-making