Federal Court Rules That Artificial Intelligence Cannot Be An Inventor Under The Patent Act

Fox Rothschild LLP

Fox Rothschild LLP

Although this blog typically focuses on decisions rendered in intellectual property and/or antitrust cases currently in or that originated in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware or are in the Federal Circuit, every now and then there is a decision rendered in another federal trial or appellate court that is significant enough it warrants going beyond the normal boundaries.  The recent decision rendered by The Honorable Leonie M. Brinkema, of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, in Thaler v. Hirshfeld et al., Civil Action No. 1:20-cv-903-LMB (E.D.Va. September 2, 2021), is such a decision.

In Thaler, the Court confronted, analyzed and answered the question of “can an artificial intelligence machine be an ‘inventor’ under the Patent Act?”  Id. at *1.  After analyzing the plain statutory language of the Patent Act and the Federal Circuit authority, the Court held that the “clear answer is no.”  Id.  In reaching its holding, the Court found that “Congress intended to limit the definition of ‘inventor’ to natural persons” which means humans – not artificial intelligence.  Id. at *17.  The Court noted that, “[a]s technology evolves, there may come a time when artificial intelligence reaches a level of sophistication such that it might satisfy accepted meanings of inventorship.  But that time has not yet arrived, and, if it does, it will be up to Congress to decide how, if at all, it wants to expand the scope of patent law.”  Id. at *17-18.

A copy of the Memorandum Opinion is attached.

[View source.]

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Fox Rothschild LLP | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Fox Rothschild LLP

Fox Rothschild LLP on:

Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
- hide
- hide

This website uses cookies to improve user experience, track anonymous site usage, store authorization tokens and permit sharing on social media networks. By continuing to browse this website you accept the use of cookies. Click here to read more about how we use cookies.