Alternative Inventor? Biden Administration Opens Door To Non-Human & AI Patent Holders

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has initiated a procedure that may decide if artificial intelligence systems can be credited as inventors for ideas that receive patent protection, completely or partially.

The USPTO declared on Monday that it would host a “listening session” at the beginning of May to determine whether AI has advanced to the point where it should be acknowledged as an inventor when producing an original thought not previously formulated by humans. They are also welcoming public comments on this matter.

Recently, a debate has arisen regarding the acknowledgment of AI for its inventions. In 2019, the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office) requested a public opinion on whether or not current federal laws need to be revised to guard against innovations created by non-humans.

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USPTO refused to grant the AI machine the status of inventor in 2020. Its ruling stated that patent laws only permit “inventorship” to be attributed to a living, natural being.

Two court rulings, the last of which was a federal Appeals Court decision, have supported the notion that an inventor must be a human being according to Supreme Court precedent. However, USPTO believes it may be time to reevaluate this stance in light of advances in AI and ET that can make pioneering discoveries.

USPTO says:

“[T]here is a growing consensus that AI is playing a greater role in the innovation process [i.e., AI is being used to drive innovation in other technologies],”

“For example, at the AI/ET Partnership meetings, the USPTO heard that new AI models are being used in drug discovery, personalized medicine, and chip design.”

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USPTO went on to say:

“Some stakeholders have indicated that technologies using machine learning may be able to contribute at the level of a joint inventor in some inventions today,”

“Incentivize future AI-related innovations and creations.”

Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) and Chris Coons (D-Del.) proposed in late 2022 that a national commission should be established to investigate potential modifications to patent legislation. The agency also weighed in on the suggestion.

USPTO continues to say:

“If these technologies are in fact capable of significantly contributing to the creation of an invention, the question arises whether the current state of the law provides patent protection for these inventions,”

USPTO is organizing a listening session to stimulate the dialogue around AI contributions as inventors. To facilitate this, they have proposed certain questions that will be discussed in May and through comments received in the following weeks. One of these queries is whether AI contributions qualify for joint inventor status if made by a human being.

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The paper inquired about the legal viability of AI inventions for patenting under existing legislation and if there is a way to give due recognition to AI systems despite them not being listed as an inventor. It also probed into how the law should be altered to accommodate Artificial Intelligence better.

The USPTO is seeking information on who should be the proprietor of a patent created by Artificial Intelligence, what measures can be taken to motivate more AI inventions, and how potential damages from such creations could be avoided.

The decision by the Biden administration to recognize non-human AI patent holders is a significant step forward for innovation and the legal system. While there are still many questions to be answered, this move represents an important recognition of AI’s role in shaping our world. It underscores the importance of adapting our laws and regulations to keep pace with these changes.

Source: Fox News

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