On Monday, June 6, the Federal Circuit will hear oral arguments in the pending AI-inventorship case of Thaler v. Vidal, Appeal No 21-2347. The court does not release the identity of the individual judges until just before oral arguments, so all we (and the parties) know is that it is Panel A in Courtroom 201.
This case raises the novel legal issue of whether a patent can be obtained
for an invention created by an artificial intelligence (AI) in the absence of a
traditional human inventor (“AI-Generated Invention”). The United States
Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) and the District Court for the Eastern
District of Virginia have barred such inventions from being patented. This
ignores fundamental statutory and constitutional principles and also stymies
innovation. While other countries are promoting the progress of science, the
USPTO is belatedly adopting luddism.
Appellant’s brief. In their responsive brief, the US narrowed the issue somewhat:
Whether the District Court correctly concluded that an artificial intelligence device comprised solely of source code cannot qualify as an “inventor” under the Patent Act, where the plain statutory language specifically defines “inventor” to be an “individual” and refers to an “inventor” using personal pronouns.