Intellectual Property » Creation and Invention

Creation and Invention


March 28, 2023

Thaler v. Vidal asks the question, does the Patent Act categorically restrict the statutory term ‘inventor’ to human beings alone? The Patent Office and the Federal Circuit say yes. Dr. Stephen Thaler respectfully disagrees. He says he “created” an “imagination engine” named DABUS, which in turn created two “inventions” and also recognized their utility without any specific guidance from a human. It is Thaler’s firm belief that DABUS was the inventor because, to quote patent law, it was the “individual . . . who invented or discovered the subject matter of the invention.” Nevertheless, the USPTO refused to award a patent because the listed inventor wasn’t human. The Federal Circuit affirmed, ruling that “individual” meant human. In his petition to the U.S. Supreme Court for Writ of Certiorari, Thaler writes, “only a court with substantial hubris would be willing to take-on this case, but I’m confident that the Supreme Court is up for the task.” Dennis Crouch, writing in PatentlyO, says that if you are interested in supporting Thaler’s position, briefs in support will be accepted in the latter part of April. The docket date has not been released yet.

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