The EPO recently published grounds for its decision to refuse two European patent applications naming an Artificial Intelligence (AI) system as the inventor.
At the end of last year, European patent applications EP 18 275 163 and EP 18 275 174 were filed with the Intellectual Property Office of the UK and forwarded to the EPO. The EPO refused both patents on the grounds that an inventor designated in the application has to be a human being, and not a machine.
The EPO concluded that the inventor designated in a European patent must be a natural person and have a legal personality since the designation of an inventor bears a series of legal consequences.
It’s clear the current patent system does not cater for AI inventions. However, as technology continues to develop and AI machines become more prevalent it remains to be seen how the patent system will respond to such cases in the future.
More information can be found via the EPO at https://www.epo.org/news-issues/news/2020/20200128.html