The UK’s highest court is set to decide whether artificial intelligence (AI) robots should be allowed to patent their own inventions.
Britain’s Supreme Court has agreed to hear a computer scientist’s bid to list his AI machine as the sole inventor of two separate products, in an application to the UK’s patent office.
The Supreme Court will hear Dr Stephen Thaler’s bid to overturn an earlier ruling from a lower court, banning him from filing a patent application on behalf of his DABUS robot.
The case comes after the UK’s intellectual property office refused two patent applications, filed by Thaler on behalf of his DABUS system, over his failure to identify a “person” as the inventor of the products.
Thaler had sought to file one patent for a “Food Container” and another for a flashing light, under the title “Devices and Methods for Attracting Enhanced Attention,” in 2018.
A UK High Court later decided that only a person could make a patent application, in a decision that was subsequently upheld by the Court of Appeals.
The Supreme Court case comes as Thaler has filed applications with patent offices from across the world, including in the US, Australia, and the EU, to ensure his DABUS machine is recognised as an inventor in its own right.