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U.S. inventor files a lawsuit for recognition of AI software as inventor

U.S. inventor files a lawsuit for recognition of AI software as inventor

Posted January. 06, 2023 07:47,   

Updated January. 06, 2023 07:47


Can artificial intelligence (AI) be recognized as an inventor?

According to the Korean Intellectual Property Office on Thursday, American AI developer Stephen Thaler filed an administrative lawsuit against the Korean patent office at the Korean court in refutation of the Korean Intellectual Property Office’s denial of his patent application listing AI as an inventor.

Mr. Thaler filed two patent applications in May 2022, naming an AI program called “DABUS” as the inventor. Mr. Thaler refused to name himself the inventor, arguing that the inventions did not originate in his mind, but rather, the AI software learned by itself and created the inventions. The two rejected patent applications consist of a fractal container, a food container emulating a fractal-inspired design, and a neural flame, a device that attracts enhanced attention.

However, the Korean patent authority nullified the patent applications on the ground of Article 33(1) of the Korean Patent Act, which stipulates that only “a person who makes an invention or his or her successor” is entitled to file a patent. Patent offices in major countries recognize only the “natural person” as an inventor. The German Federal Patent Court, however, said that the addition of information about the AI program was allowable while maintaining its position that only an individual could be designated as an inventor. Lee In-sil, Commissioner of the KIPO, said that the patent office will keenly monitor the development of AI technology and accordingly revise its system related to AI-generated inventions by analyzing laws and legal precedents at home and abroad.

Myung-Hun Jee mhjee@donga.com