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SCOTUS rejects plea to review DABUS decision

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The US Supreme Court will not hear a case that determines whether AI can be listed as an inventor on a patent application

The US Supreme Court declined to hear a petition for a writ of certiorari over whether artificial intelligence can be listed as an inventor on Monday, April 24.

Stephen Thaler filed the petition last month after the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit rejected his attempt to list an AI tool called DABUS as the inventor on a patent application.

The Federal Circuit’s decision, handed down in August last year, upheld both a summary judgment from the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia and the USPTO’s initial rejection of the application.

Though Thaler was unsuccessful, The Chicago Patent Attorneys, Brooklyn Law Incubator & Policy Clinic, and a group of four professors filed amicus briefs in his favour.

The USPTO declined to respond to the petition unless asked by SCOTUS.

Thaler has sought to get DABUS named as an inventor around the world. Last month, the UK Supreme Court, which has agreed to hear the case, heard oral arguments in the dispute.

Each of the intellectual property offices where DABUS applications have been filed has rejected them except for South Africa’s, which does not conduct substantive pre-grant examination.

The campaign enjoyed little success in the courts until the Federal Court of Australia found in 2021 that Australia’s Patents Act did not explicitly require an inventor to be a natural person.

However, that finding was overturned in November last year.

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