An artificial intelligence system is capable of being named as an “inventor” of patentable subject matter, according to the Federal Court’s recent decision in Thaler v Commissioner of Patents. Subject to any appeal, this decision has salient implications for the ways in which inventorship, ownership, and inventiveness might be assessed in Australia in the future.
- AI systems can be “inventors” for the purposes of the Patents Act 1990.
- AI systems cannot be the owners of patents, but a patentee can, in certain circumstances, “derive” their entitlement to a patent from an AI “inventor”.
- This differs from the position taken with respect to AI “inventors” in decisions in the UK, EU and US.
- The decision also contrasts with the legislative requirements for human authors in other areas of intellectual property in Australia, such as copyright.
- The decision may have implications for the way in which the entitlement and inventiveness of patentable subject matter are assessed in the future.
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 Thaler v Commissioner of Patents  FCA 879.