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USPTO Seeking Public Input on AI Being Named an Inventor in Patent Applications

AI inventorship

USPTO Seeking Public Input on AI Being Named an Inventor in Patent Applications

The United States Patent and Trademark Office is looking into whether artificial intelligence can be named as an inventor on a patent. According to USPTO, it previously denied applications identifying AI as the inventor, citing current law stating that inventorship is limited to real people.

The agency, however, acknowledged the increasing role of AI in developing modern technologies. To address uncertainty around AI inventorship, the office asked the public to submit responses to a notice published in the Federal Register on Tuesday, Nextgov reported.

The USPTO wants the public to share their knowledge about how AI is used in the invention process, the difference between AI and other tech invention tools and whether an AI system contributes to an invention at a level similar to a human being, among other information. Responses to the notice will be accepted within 90 days following the publication date.

The USPTO published an AI-focused request for comments on the Federal Register in 2019, seeking feedback on the need to revise existing inventorship rules and regulations to recognize AI contributions in an invention. It also held an AI/ET Partnership meeting in 2022, during which participants discussed AI inventorship issues. Mixed responses were obtained from the two efforts. Some agreed that AI can produce patentable inventions while others stated that AI is just a tool that aids the development process.

The USPTO is exploring the potential listing of AI as an inventor despite an appeals court ruling in August 2022 that said an AI system cannot be an inventor under the Patent Act.

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Category: Future Trends