The EPO has refused two European patent applications in 2019 December, in which the machine was designated as an inventor. Both patent applications indicate “DABUS” as the inventor, which is described as “a type of connectionist artificial intelligence”.
The two patent applications (EP 18 275163 and EP 18 275 174) were refused by EPO on the ground that they do not meet the requirement of the EPC that an inventor designated in the application has to be a human being, not the machine. The refuse happened after hearing the arguments of the applicant in non-public oral proceedings on 25 November the EPO.
The decision can control the tendency of a growing number of businesses that brand themselves as suppliers of inventions on demand. These businesses, to a large extent, are about the use of AI to shorten the time and cost involved in inventor-ship. So what they offer are not the results of technicians, engineers and scientists' hard-working and activities and human thinking.
Artificial intelligence and consequently, the growing invention made by AI is inevitably going to happen. The subject is not confined to Europe, it is worldwide. Therefore, there is a need to hear many other cases and it has to be decided before there is a comfortable level of predictability about what kinds of AI inventions can be protected and enforced. With this regard, relevant laws and regulations at the strategic level, need to be put in place to answers many related IP uncertainties and questions.