US Patent Office: AI is all well and good, but only humans can patent things

Key Points:

  • Only “natural humans” can be awarded patents
  • AI systems themselves are not individuals and therefore cannot be inventors
  • A person must be named as the inventor for any given claim of a patent

Summary:

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has spoken: AI systems, as advanced and intelligent as they may be, will not be receiving any official intellectual property protections. In a rather ‘patent-ly’ clear stance, the USPTO declared that only ‘natural humans’ can file patents.

 

The question of AI in the legal space is interesting. Although corporations may be considered people for some legal purposes, but AI is a whole different algorithm. The guidance makes it clear that only ‘natural humans’ can be inventors, leaving AI systems out in the cold.

 

If a human can show that AI significantly contributed to the invention, like the brains behind the operation, they can still claim ownership. It’s a bit like giving credit where credit is due, even if your AI did most of the heavy lifting. Merely owning or overseeing an AI system doesn’t automatically make you an inventor.  You’ve got to roll up your sleeves, contribute significantly, and show that you’re not just letting your AI do all the work.

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