Thaler (Appellant) v Comptroller-General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks (Respondent)
Case ID: 2021/0201
(a) Does section 13(2)(a) of the Patents Act 1977 (the "1977 Act") require a person to be named as the inventor in all cases, including where the applicant believes the invention was created by an AI machine in the absence of a traditional human inventor?
(b) Does the 1977 Act provide for the grant of a patent without a named human inventor?
(c) In the case of an invention made by an AI machine, is the owner, creator and user of that AI machine entitled to the grant of a patent for that invention?
This case concerns two British patent applications (the "Applications") for two inventions that the appellant, Dr Thaler, stated (in the Applications) were created by an AI machine known as DABUS in the absence of a traditional human inventor. Dr Thaler is the sole owner, creator and user of DABUS. It is not in issue whether DABUS created the inventions autonomously.
On 4 December 2019, the respondent handed down a decision refusing to accept the designations of DABUS as the inventor in the Applications pursuant to section 13(2) of the 1977 Act on the ground that DABUS is not a person, as envisaged by sections 7 and 13 of the 1977 Act. Dr Thaler’s appeal of the respondent’s decision was dismissed in the High Court and the Court of Appeal. He now appeals to the Supreme Court.
Stephen L Thaler
Comptroller-General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks
Lord Hodge, Lord Kitchin, Lord Hamblen, Lord Leggatt, Lord Richards
Hearing start date
2 March 2023
Hearing finish date
2 March 2023
|2 March 2023||Morning session||Afternoon session|
Future Judgment Update
Please note that appeal in the matter of Thaler (Appellant) v Comptroller-General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks (Respondent) has been heard by the Supreme Court and is currently awaiting judgment.
As soon as the judgment hand-down date is confirmed, it will be published on the Future judgments page of this website. As a very broad indication, judgments tend to follow between three to nine months after the conclusion of the appeal hearing, although in some cases it may be earlier than that. Information about judgment hand-downs is usually announced one week in advance. We are unable to give any indication of the likely hand-down date for judgments not listed on the Future judgments page.