UK Supreme Court rules AI is not an inventor

Key Points:

  • The UK Supreme Court ruled that artificial intelligence cannot be named as an inventor, aligning with the US’s similar decision against Stephen Thaler’s petition to name AI as an inventor of new products.
  • Stephen Thaler, the founder of the AI system DABUS, had petitioned to register DABUS as the inventor of a food container and a flashing light beacon, but the UK IPO rejected the request, emphasizing that only humans or companies can be inventors.
  • The ruling has sparked discussions in both the UK and the US about whether AI-generated material, including art, can be protected under intellectual property law.


It’s a fascinating stroll into the legal labyrinth of intellectual property as the UK Supreme Court knocked the gavel on a pivotal ruling: artificial intelligence, with all its whirring and calculating might, cannot hold patents. In this whirlwind of legal battles and technological progress, the court resoundingly declared that AI cannot step into the shoes of a human or a company and stake its claim as the originator of a new creation.


The decision stems from a petition by Stephen Thaler, the maverick mind behind the AI system DABUS. Thaler sought to crown his AI as the inventor of a food container and a flashing light beacon. But alas, the UK’s Intellectual Property Office sternly rebuffed the attempt, asserting that only human ingenuity or corporate brilliance can embrace the title of the creator.


Across the pond, the United States also stood firm, declining to hoist the sail of change as the US Patent and Trademark Office and the US Supreme Court waved off Thaler’s plea to anoint AI with the patent crown. The legal pugilism now sets the stage for a seismic discussion in both the UK and the US, echoing a resounding societal and legal question: Can AI-produced art or any neural network-inspired material seek sanctuary under the protective umbrella of the law?


The UK IPO, in reflection of the ruling, admitted the legitimate pondering that ensnares the intersection of AI-generated marvels and the age-old yardstick of intellectual property law. Herein lies a blazing torch illuminating a cavernous cave of questions: the UK and the US, two titans in law and innovation, stand at a crossroads, weighing the scales of laws that may define tomorrow’s creative landscape.



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