In widely discussed decisions of February this year, the European Patent Office (EPO) refused two applications filed for inventions allegedly invented by an Artificial Intelligence (AI) called “DABUS”. Their reasoning being that DABUS did not fulfil the necessary formal inventor requirements, since under the European Patent Convention (EPC), the term ‘inventor’ refers only to a natural person, of which AI is not (see our bulletin here).
In the latest development, appeals have now been filed against the EPO’s decision on both applications, arguing against the EPO’s conclusions – the arguments in support of the appeal can be read on the register (EP18275163.6 and EP18275174.3).
It will be interesting to see if the EPO Boards of Appeal take a different approach to the EPO examiners who considered the cases at first instance – not only in how they may or may not agree with the examiners at first instance, but also whether they wish to tackle the thornier question of who the inventor should actually be for the DABUS applications.
For DABUS’s creators, at least, it seems that the question of AI inventorship has not yet been settled, and the decision of the Board of Appeal will be awaited with interest.
The EPO concluded that, under the EPC, the term “inventor” refers only to a natural person.