Computer scientist Stephen Thaler has been dealt another blow in his fight to have artificially intelligent machines recognized as inventors under patents, after the nation’s highest patent court ruled that inventors must be human. The term “individual” in the Patent Act refers only to humans, meaning AI is not considered the inventor of a patentable invention, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled Friday. From the report: The decision is in line with courts in the European Union, Great Britain and Australia, which have refused to accept Thaler’s arguments. His only existing victory is a South African court that said artificial intelligence can be the inventor of a patent. Unless the U.S. Supreme Court intervenes, the Federal Circuit is usually the final court in U.S. patent matters—hearing all similar appeals from federal district courts and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Thaler already plans to appeal to a higher court, said his attorney, Ryan Abbott of Brown, Neri, Smith & Khan LLP. The Federal Circuit took a “narrow and textualist approach” to the Patent Act, Abbott said. “It ignores the purpose of the Patent Act and the result that inventions created by artificial intelligence are now unpatentable in the United States,” he said. “This is an outcome with real negative social consequences.”

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