South Africa grants patent for AI-created invention

The Companies and Intellectual Property Commission of South Africa has granted a patent to an invention created by an artificial intelligence (AI) system. This is the first time that an AI system is recognised as an inventor anywhere in the world. The AI system – DABUS (device for autonomous bootstrapping of unified sentience) – was created by US researcher Stephen Thaler, and the invention it was granted a patent for is a food contained based on fractal geometry. Thaler has filed patent applications listing DABUS as an inventor in many other jurisdictions around the world, but has so far been denied one. In the EU, for instance, the Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office noted that an inventor on a patent application must have legal capacity.