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News article10 January 2022

Naming AI as inventor on patent applications: EPO Board of Appeal ratifies decision

Artificial intelligence (AI) cannot be named as the inventor on patent applications, the Legal Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office (EPO) has ruled. In oral proceedings in December 2021, the Board of Appeal has confirmed its previous decision on designating AI as an inventor on patent applications. According to the EPO, an inventor in a patent application must be a human being under the European Patent Convention (EPC).

The board dismissed the appeals brought forward by Stephen Thaler, a creator, to designate an AI algorithm as the inventor on a patent application. Mr Thaler has already filed similar applications in several countries, some of which were also dismissed while others were successful. At its core, the appeals are asking the fundamental questions which laws meant for humans can be extended to machines.

The written decision and the reasoning behind it will be issued in due course and will be available via the European Patent Register.

For more information, check the Boards of Appeal communiqué with further details.

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Publication date
10 January 2022