• Henry Park

HAL-9000 cannot be an inventor

In response to a petition requesting that an artificial intelligence be named an inventor on a patent application, the USPTO issued a decision stating that inventors must be a person (see April 22, 2020 Petition Decision Application No. 16/524,350).

In making that determination, the USPTO found the plain reading of the patent statutes to require an inventor to be a person. The USPTO also found that the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit held that inventors must be natural persons. And, that the regulations issued by the USPTO requires inventors to be people.

As an interesting note, the American Invents Act (AIA) states that only "persons" can petition for post-issuance review of granted patents. For purposes of such a petition, the Supreme Court had held that government entities are not "persons" (see Return Mail, Inc. v. US Postal Service, 139 S.Ct. 1853 (2018). However, bank are not government entities but are corporate entities and therefore, the Federal Circuit held that banks are "persons" entitled to petition for post-issuance review (see Bozeman Financial LLC v. Federal Reserve Banks, Case 2019-1018 (Fed. Cir. April 10, 2020, on Mega.nz).

Photo by Rock'n Roll Monkey on Unsplash

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