• Mansi

The uprising of Artificial Intelligence machines (hereinafter referred as “AI”) is a popular and intriguing subject for many science fiction works. The advancement of AI machines and their progression with respect to playing a significant role in our lives has increased exponentially in the past few years. The future possibilities of this technology has stirred a hornets' nest of innumerable possibilities. As we witness AI machines overlapping with Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) , it gives rise to many questions concerning legal discipline.
When the earliest substantial work in the field of Artificial Intelligence was concluded in the mid-20th century by the British logician and computer pioneer, Alan Mathison Turing, nobody could have imagined that there will be an attempt towards an assimilation of technical solutions created by an AI machines into the scope of patent law. But an important issues arises: whether an AI machine can be an inventor? i.e. Can an AI machine invent?
A recently granted South African patent relating to DABUS (Device for the Autonomous Bootstrapping of Unified Sentience), an AI machine created by Stephen Thaler has been a topic of controversy. In April 2020, the South Africa Patent Office issued a patent listing DABUS as the inventor. Two days later, a federal judge from Australia also suggested that a non-human can be named as the inventor of a patent. DABUS claims to stimulate human brainstorming and create new inventions. But when we look at AI machine’s modest achievements in the last five decades, we find that it has failed to produce evidence of manifesting a human level of intelligence.
The US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia ruled that an Artificial Intelligence machine cannot be an inventor under the US Patent Act. In affirming The United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) denial of a patent to patent applications filed designating an AI machine as an inventor, the Court ruled that the construction of the statutory language of the U.S. Patent Act and the Federal Circuit authority, an AI machine could not be designated as an inventor because the Act provides that an inventor shall be an "individual," which under common parlance means a natural person.
In Australia, the Deputy Commissioner of Patent stated that the law neither recognises the capacity of an Artificial Intelligence machine to assign property, nor does it allow having beneficial interest in a property. Later, Justice Beach found that there was no specific provision in the Australian Patents Act expressly refuting the proposition that an Artificial Intelligence machine can be an inventor, hence an AI machine could be designated as an inventor. He also opined that rather than resorting to the old millennium usage of the word “Inventor”, we must accept with the idea and recognize the evolving nature of patentable inventions and their creators. “When humans and AI machines, both are created and create. Why cannot our own creations create as well?”. The Australian Court found that Artificial Intelligence machines are capable of being an “Inventor”. However, in the final reckoning, the Court held that “a non-human inventor can neither be an applicant for a patent nor a grantee of a patent. So to hold is consistent with the reality of the current technology. It is consistent with the Act. And it is consistent with promoting innovation.” This means that although an AI machine can be an inventor, it cannot be the applicant and patent cannot be granted to an AI machine.
In late 2021, the Indian Copyright Office recognised an artificial intelligence App called RAGHAV (Robust Artificially Intelligent Graphics and Art Visualizer) as a co - author of a copyrighted artwork. The acronym RAGHAV eponymously was coined by the human author Mr. Raghav Gupta. In an interview, Mr. Raghav Gupta, the creator of the AI App said that the Indian Copyright Office’s decision was “the beginning of an era of change that Governments across the world will be working on."
But until the artificial intelligence machine that was elevated to the status of copyright-holder is capable of speaking for itself, I am not going to give announcements like this any undue importance.”
The proposition that only a person can invent has been quite evident, and the possibility that a machine could be an inventor has always been overlooked and underestimated. As an accepted principle the “applicant” can be any person or legal entity to whom the inventor has assigned his or her rights and is under an obligation to assign, showing proprietary interest in the matter. As the AI machine is not a legal person and cannot own property, rights to intellectual property cannot be assigned to it for the present. But, one can expect a number of unique AI machines to grow as inventors in the field of creativity. In times to come, there might arise a possibility that we might rely more and more on either AI machines, or combinations of humans and AI machines, to generate new inventions. 


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