AI-Generated Invention at the Federal Circuit

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.

Continue reading AI-Generated Invention at the Federal Circuit at Patently-O.

USPTO PPAC – Ready for Nominees

USPTO PPAC – Ready for Nominees

The Patent Public Advisory Committee (PPAC) forms a board of advisors for the USPTO Director. Nine members appointed by the Secretary of Commerce for three-year terms.  Although PPAC does not have formal power to take action, the USPTO Director is required to cooperate with the committee, provide it with access to information, and consider its advice.  Congress has declared that the committee should individuals representing both small and large entities, including at least independent inventor.  The committee should also include individuals “with substantial background and achievement in finance, management, labor relations, science, technology, and office automation.”

Dir. Vidal has announced that the USPTO is seeking nominations for three new  PPAC members. Due by July 1, 2022.  For more information, contact Cordelia Zecher, Acting Chief of Staff for Director Vidal at 571-272-8600.

  • PPAC Website
  • Call for Nominees

My four issues for this year:

  1. Outreach and cultivation of the United States as a flourishing innovative society; rather than one that relies upon others to provide answers. 
  2. Ensure that the USPTO maintains highest quality examination practices post-COVID. 
  3. Work to transform intellectual property laws in ways that promote US investment in innovation in key industries.

Continue reading USPTO PPAC – Ready for Nominees at Patently-O.