The Legal Board of Appeal (the “Board”) of the European Patent Office (EPO) recently suggested that the owner of an artificial intelligence (AI) machine could possibly be designated as an inventor of an AI-generated Invention. In particular, the Board suggested that:
“The Board is not aware of any case law which would prevent the user or the owner of a device involved in an inventive activity to designate himself as inventor under European patent law.”
J 8/20 (Designation of inventor/DABAS) at para. 4.6.6
The suggestion came as part of the Board’s written reasons for its decision in EPO case J 8/20. The Board issued the written reasons on July 6, 2022, as part of a press communication.
This suggestion arguably opens the door for companies or individuals, who make or use AI-generating machines, to list themselves (instead of the AI machine) as the “inventor” on an EPO patent application, even where the invention was wholly conceived by the AI machine itself.
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