Can Artificial Intelligence (AI) be an “inventor" under patent law? Australia had been the only Court worldwide to say "yes". However, earlier this month in Commissioner of Patents v Thaler, the full Australian Federal Court has aligned Australian patent law with UK, EU, and US patent law, to unanimously confirm that only a human can qualify as an inventor under Australia’s Patents Act 1990.
It will be interesting to see whether Australian lawmakers now take steps to amend the Patents Act to specifically allow AI inventors. There are fears that the pharmaceutical industry (and therefore the invention of new vaccines and drugs) could be adversely affected by this decision. Using AI could be the best and fastest way to find new drugs and vaccines, but the pharmaceutical industry may justifiably avoid using AI if it means they won’t be rewarded with a patent for their efforts.
Read the full judgment below.