Aug 8, 2022Legal
Fresh From the Bench: Latest Federal Circuit Court Case


Thaler v. Vidal, Appeal No. 2021-2347

In its only precedential patent decision this week, the Federal Circuit answered a question that had long occupied the musings of law professors, students, and legal theorists everywhere: whether artificial intelligence software can be listed as an inventor on a patent application.  It cannot.

Thaler developed AI systems and, in 2019, sought patent protection for two putative inventions that were developed by one of his AI systems.  He listed his AI system as the sole inventor on both applications.  The Patent Office concluded that both applications lacked a valid inventor and were, hence, incomplete.  It ultimately rejected the application because “a machine does not qualify as an inventor.”

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By Nika Aldrich

Edited by Scott D. Eads, Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt

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