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World first: An Australian court opens the door to inventor recognition rights for artificial intelligence systems

journal contribution
posted on 11.04.2022, 03:11 by Amanda-Jane GeorgeAmanda-Jane George, Julie-Anne Tarr
Rapid development and use of artificial intelligence (‘AI’) is creating significant regulatory challenges in many domains. In the intellectual property sphere, Stephen Thaler’s Artificial Inventor Project (‘AIP’) is challenging traditional concepts of who – and what – can be an ‘inventor’ for patent registration. With the filing of patent applications across multiple jurisdictions, managing inventor status of AI systems while ensuring innovation incentivisation is preserved is the question before patent offices, courts and legislatures globally. The AIP’s aim is to clarify, if not advance, AI ‘inventor’ eligibility. Thaler, the AI engineer behind the Project, has sought inventor status for his ‘sentient’ machine DABUS, in order to patent inventions ‘autonomously’ made by it. Australia’s 2021 Federal Court decision affirming machine inventors constitutes a world first – with other jurisdictions that have substantively considered the matter denying status. This article analyses the respective judgments and arguments raised, concluding the Australian decision to be out of step internationally, and with High Court authority and classic statutory interpretation. It nevertheless argues the need for focused dialogue around the intersection of AI and intellectual property, directions forward, and, as with other regulatory fields, the need for this intersection to remain the purview of legislative bodies rather than courts

History

Volume

49

Issue

4

Start Page

259

End Page

269

Number of Pages

11

eISSN

1556-5068

ISSN

0310-1053

Publisher

Thomson Reuters

Language

en

Peer Reviewed

Yes

Open Access

No

Era Eligible

Yes

Journal

Australian Business Law Review

Article Number

259

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