European Patent Office confirms decision that AI cannot be considered inventor

The Legal Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office (EPO) has confirmed that, according to the European Patent Convention (EPC), an inventor designated in a patent application must be a human being. The decision was taken in response to an appeal to two decisions of the Receiving Section of EPO, which refused two applications in which an artificial intelligence (AI) system called DABUS was designed as inventor. According to the Receiving Section, only a human inventor could be an inventor within the meaning of the EPC, and a machine could not transfer any rights to the applicant for a patent. The Legal Board of Appeal confirmed these arguments, underlining that, under the EPC, an inventor has to be a person with a legal capacity. Applications designating DABUS as inventor have been filled in several other jurisdictions outside of the EU, with successful outcomes in Australia and South Africa, and unsuccessful in the USA and the UK.