The permission to appeal to the Supreme Court to reconsider the case of whether artificial intelligence (AI) entities should be allowed to be named as inventors on UK patent applications is a clear indication of the public importance of this legal issue.
The case highlights how AI is significantly contributing to the acceleration of innovation, whether as a tool used by scientists to assist with the conception of the inventions or, as in this case, to generate inventions on their own. Much of current UK patent law was drafted in the late 1970’s, long before the arrival of powerful AI tools.
The government wants to park the issue until harmonisation of laws can be achieved at an international level. Yet last year it announced a 10-year plan to make the UK a “global AI superpower”.
We are in danger of undermining that stated aim if the law doesn’t evolve to keep up with modern technology and new approaches to creating innovation.