DABUS Gets Its First Patent in South Africa Under Formalities Examination

By IPWatchdog
July 29, 2021

“We are moving from an age in which invention was the preserve of people to an era where machines are capable of realizing the inventive step.” –  Professor Adrian Hilton

DABUS, AI - https://depositphotos.com/97982032/stock-photo-robots-and-humans.htmlSouth Africa’s patent office has granted the first patent for an invention conceived by an artificial intelligence (AI) inventor, DABUS. The country does not have a substantive patent examination system, and thus the significance of the acceptance may not be as great as it would be in other jurisdictions—but the DABUS team is celebrating.

The patent is for “a food container based on fractal geometry,” and was accepted by South Africa’s Companies and Intellectual Property Commission on June 24. The notice of issuance was published in the July 2021 Patent Journal.   

DABUS stands for “device for the autonomous bootstrapping of unified sentience” and it has attempted to procure patents in the European Union, United Kingdom and United States with no luck. Most recently, the European Patent Office (EPO) Board of Appeal (BOA) issued two preliminary communications in appeals of the EPO’s rejection of the DABUS patents in which the BOA agreed with the EPO’s January 2020 decisions, and said that, under the European Patent Convention (EPC), an inventor on a patent application must have “legal capacity,” meaning the “ability, according to a source of law, to be the subject of rights and duties.” Oral proceedings are scheduled for December 21, 2021.

According to a press release issued by the University of Surrey, “while patent law in many jurisdictions is very specific in how it defines an inventor, the DABUS team is arguing that the status quo is not fit for purpose in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”

Kirk Hartung of McKee, Voorhees & Sease, PLC explained that South Africa patent laws do not define “inventor”. The country also does not have substantive examination, so “as long as the paperwork is filled out correctly, the patent office pretty much rubber stamps for approval,” Hartung said.

However, Ryan Abbot, University of Surrey’s, Professor of Law and Health Sciences, who led the team of lawyers and researchers that filed the patent in South Africa, pointed out that the patents already passed substantive examination in the UK and EPO and were rejected on a formalities basis there. He further explained:

In the UK, for example, the application was not rejected, which occurs when there is a substantive problem with a patent, but was “deemed withdrawn” for failure to comply with the rules associated with the filing of Patent Form 7.

South Africa does carry out formalities examination, and issued it, as required, on the basis of the designation in the international (Patent Cooperation Treaty [PCT]) application, which was previously accepted by WIPO.

Incidentally, the UKIPO is also required to accept a PCT designation in lieu of Form 7, and we have recently filed an ex-PCT application in the UK.

Stephen Thaler is the creator of DABUS and the patent applicant. A full list of the team’s other cases and patents is available at the Artificial Inventor Project.

Professor Adrian Hilton, Director of the Institute for People-Centred AI at the University of Surrey, said:

This is a truly historic case that recognizes the need to change how we attribute invention. We are moving from an age in which invention was the preserve of people to an era where machines are capable of realizing the inventive step, unleashing the potential of AI-generated inventions for the benefit of society.

IPWatchdog Founder and CEO Gene Quinn had this to say about the development:

Not every patent system grants patent rights that are equivalent and based on the same rigorous examination. And in this case there are nuances involving the Patent Cooperation Treaty. So, it is not shocking that South Africa granted this patent to DABUS, and everyone should be ready for the prospect that there will be more to come. This doesn’t change the fact that ultimately difficult questions of law will need to be addressed. I personally continue to believe that the solution will be to recognize some sui generis protection for AI created innovation rather than to shoehorn this construct into existing patent laws.

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  1. Curious July 29, 2021 9:35 am

    Kirk Hartung of McKee, Voorhees & Sease, PLC explained that South Africa patent laws do not define “inventor”. The country also does not have substantive examination, so “as long as the paperwork is filled out correctly, the patent office pretty much rubber stamps for approval,” Hartung said.
    Essentially … my cat can get a patent in South Africa. Instead of a method of exercising a cat — perhaps my cat could invent a method of being exercised by a laser pointer.

    And is this a good thing for patent law?

  2. Pro Say July 29, 2021 12:08 pm

    Oh, wow — a South African patent!

    Next up — a North Pole patent!

    Burp.

  3. Mark Summerfield July 30, 2021 6:58 am

    The Federal Court of Australia today overturned the Patent Office’s refusal to allow DABUS to be named as inventor http://www8.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/cases/cth/FCA//2021/879.html

    This gives Australia the dubious honor of being the first and only country to recognise a machine inventor in a formal legal decision. It is my sincere hope that the Commissioner of Patents will appeal this ruling. Judges have no business taking it upon themselves to make policy from the bench by expanding the availability of patents in this way.

  4. Anon July 30, 2021 7:44 am

    While it may be different in the US, Mr. Summerfield, is not “the inventor” merely a ‘formality’ in your Sovereign (and most of ROW for that matter)?

    Are not ‘mere formalities’ largely sought to be eliminated (here, in view of how ROW views TRIPS)?

    Take for example, a ‘blind eye’ to the “who,” and focusing on the substantive “what,” is there really an expansion being made?

    These are not rhetorical, and certainly are not asked to be reflexive of patent law principles of my own US Sovereign (as we have a definite Lockeian nature at our bedrock, but I am curious as to other Sovereigns who DO provide more power to non-real persons (such as juristic persons of corporations, who are no more ‘real’ than DABUS). I do not see any righteousness in the umbrage of viewing this to DABUS, while already permitting non-real-person Corporations an equal footing with real persons.

  5. Mark Summerfield July 30, 2021 8:50 am

    @Anon, a corporation in Australia is a ‘legal person’ that can (among other things) own property, including patents, but cannot be an inventor. DABUS, according to today’s decision, is not a legal person, and cannot own property, even though it can (apparently) be an inventor.

    There are a number of Australian cases dealing with the contribution that a person must make in order to qualify as an inventor, so I do not think that this is a mere formality.

    I hope that answers your questions. I am afraid I am finding your florid language a little hard to parse (“righteousness in the umbrage”???)

  6. Anon July 30, 2021 9:47 am

    Thank you Mr. Summerfield.

    The florid language draws from what I see as basic inconsistencies, coupled with my (admittedly personal) view that the juristic person of corporations needs to be constrained in their power (we very much are in a dystopia of Corporatocracy).

    Your statement of, “ DABUS, according to today’s decision, is not a legal person, and cannot own property, even though it can (apparently) be an inventor.” goes too far as this decision does NOT impute any nature of DABUS being (or not being) a legal person or owning or not owning property.

    At the end of the day, the notion of corporation being a legal person is a man-made figment — one equally applicable (albeit not formally made as of yet) to AI.

    And yes, I do recognize (especially in the US Sovereign) that qualifying as inventor may well NOT be a mere formality. That being said, in THIS case (with South Africa – as noted in the prior comments), it very much IS a mere formality.

    Bridge from that given to the international accords, and how those accords treat (or aim to treat) mere formalities….

  7. Curious July 30, 2021 11:38 am

    I am afraid I am finding your florid language a little hard to parse (“righteousness in the umbrage”???)
    You aren’t the only one to make a similar comment in the past … but I digress.

    @Anon, a corporation in Australia is a ‘legal person’ that can (among other things) own property, including patents, but cannot be an inventor. DABUS, according to today’s decision, is not a legal person, and cannot own property, even though it can (apparently) be an inventor.
    My opinion is that there are those that are trying to co-opt the patent system (either in the US or elsewhere) as a backdoor to argue that AI’s should be legally recognizable as a “person.” I can only imagine for what purpose, but I won’t get it that.

    Not that I have anything against AIs, I just don’t think they are anywhere even remotely close to being advanced enough to justify endowing them with any legal rights even approaching that of a “person.”

  8. Anon July 30, 2021 12:56 pm

    Curious,

    You seem (again) to be leaning towards a point of discussion on the Singularity.

    Such simply needs not be present to invoke ripples in patent law (on a number of here-and-now aspects).

    As to “advanced enough,” well, the very notion of ‘corporation’ LAGS far behind even the rudiments of AI, so that line of reasoning simply falls flat.

  9. Anon July 30, 2021 5:33 pm

    Mr. Summerfield,

    Thank you for that link.

    Below is the rationale of the Judge who reversed the ‘de facto’ (and circular) reasoning of the Patent Commissioner.

    Is there anything in particular with which you would find fault?

    In summary and for the following reasons, in my view an artificial intelligence system can be an inventor for the purposes of the Act. First, an inventor is an agent noun; an agent can be a person or thing that invents. Second, so to hold reflects the reality in terms of many otherwise patentable inventions where it cannot sensibly be said that a human is the inventor. Third, nothing in the Act dictates the contrary conclusion.
    It follows that I reject the Deputy Commissioner’s determination and the Commissioner’s position before me.
    First, that position confuses the question of ownership and control of a patentable invention including who can be a patentee, on the one hand, with the question of who can be an inventor, on the other hand. Only a human or other legal person can be an owner, controller or patentee. That of course includes an inventor who is a human. But it is a fallacy to argue from this that an inventor can only be a human. An inventor may be an artificial intelligence system, but in such a circumstance could not be the owner, controller or patentee of the patentable invention.
    Second, on the Commissioner’s logic, if you had a patentable invention but no human inventor, you could not apply for a patent. So by employing the Commissioner’s device of using a procedural requirement in a subordinate instrument, you would substantively preclude the possibility of a patent grant for that invention. Nothing in the Act justifies such a result. And it is the antithesis of the s 2A object.
    Third, in my view the Commissioner has not kept faith with the tenet that “[i]t is also of fundamental importance that limitations and qualifications are not read into a statutory definition unless clearly required by its terms or its context, as for example if it is necessary to give effect to the evident purpose of the Act” (PMT Partners Pty Ltd (in liq) v Australian National Parks & Wildlife Service [1995] HCA 36; (1995) 184 CLR 301 at 310 per Brennan CJ, Gaudron and McHugh JJ). Indeed the evident purpose of the Act, a proxy for which is s 2A, is at odds with the unreality of persisting with the notion that artificial intelligence systems cannot be inventors.
    Fourth, much of the Commissioner’s argument descended into dictionary definitions of “inventor”. But more is required of me than mere resort to old millennium usages of that word. If words are only “pictures of ideas upon paper” (Dodson v Grew [1767] EngR 23; (1767) Wilm 272 at 278; [1767] EngR 23; 97 ER 106 at 108 per Wilmot CJ) and if, as Holmes J described it, they are not “crystal[s], transparent and unchanged, [but] the skin of a living thought and may vary greatly in colour and content according to the circumstances and the time in which [they] are used” (Towne v Eisner, [1918] USSC 7; 245 US 418, 425 (1918)), I need to grapple with the underlying idea, recognising the evolving nature of patentable inventions and their creators. We are both created and create. Why cannot our own creations also create?

  10. Mark Summerfield July 30, 2021 6:40 pm

    @Anon, I don’t know how you conclude that the decision “does NOT impute any nature of DABUS being (or not being) a legal person or owning or not owning property’. It quite literally says, at paragraph 8, ‘DABUS is not a natural or legal person’, and at paragraph 178, ”whilst DABUS, as an artificial intelligence system, is not a legal person and cannot legally assign the invention…’.

    As for what is wrong with the judge’s reasoning, the starting point is that it is plainly apparent (and agreed by all parties at the hearing) that the legislature only ever had in mind that an inventor would be a natural person, and no earlier decision has ever determined otherwise. The judge has therefore clearly expanded the scope of the law to encompass anything that might be labeled with the ‘agent noun’ ‘inventor’. The potential consequences of this are unclear, and have certainly not been the subject of any substantial study or consultation process.

    The judge justifies this policy decision by reference to the ‘objects clause’ in section 2A of the Act. But he falls to look at the legislative history of that section, and in particular the report of the Australian Productivity Commission which recommended its inclusion (a recommendation obviously accepted by the government). As a result, he places too much emphasis on the interests of ‘producers and owners of technology’ (who clearly benefit from having more ways to generate patents) and not enough on ‘users of technology and the public’ (for whom the benefits of becoming the first, and possibly only, country in the world to grant 20 year monopolies on automatically-generated inventions may be far less obvious).

    In short, this is a matter for parliament, not for a judge making law from the bench. The decision is a fine example of judicial activism.

  11. Anon July 30, 2021 7:28 pm

    Mark, that statement is dicta, and has no bearing on the reasoning of the case.

    Your “but the legislature only ever had ___ in mind” is addressed by the Judge. This is not “expand” but merely read the words with on understanding that when written, there was no concept of AI. The Judge continues to show reasoning as to the meaning being held true. As there was no AI at the time of writing, your (reiteration) of “legislative history” is circular and unavailing.

    I do not have clue as to your producer/user emphasis. Can you explicate that?

    I reject your “in short” — as does the Judge in his reasoning.

  12. Anon July 30, 2021 7:29 pm

    … hit submit too quickly…

    The reason why I reject your “in short” is because THAT is nothing more than you assuming your own conclusion.

  13. Mark Summerfield July 31, 2021 1:37 am

    @Anon, I disagree that those statements are dicta. The court was required to determine whether, and how, Thaler is entitled to the grant of a patent. The usual answer to this, of course, would be via a chain of legal title back to the inventor. The finding that DABUS is not a legal person, and that it cannot possess or assign property, was therefore foundational to the court’s subsequent reasoning on the application of paragraph 15(1)(c), i.e. that ‘derives title to the invention from the inventor’ encompasses ‘gains possession by virtue of ownership and control of the inventor’. (I note in passing that this strikes me as a novel theory in Australian patent law, and a possible source of error in the court’s reasoning that will no doubt be ventilated on appeal).

    The Australian government’s Productivity Commission (PC), in its 2016 Review of Australia’s IP Arrangements, formed the view that Australia is not a net beneficiary of its own patent system, in large part on the basis that over 90% of all patents in this country are issued to foreign entities, and that too many represent relatively low-level innovations that would have occurred without the added incentive of a patent. Whether you (or I) agree with this or not, the government accepted the PC’s conclusions and recommendations, and has since legislated accordingly, including the addition of section 2A of the Act, which states that:

    The object of this Act is to provide a patent system in Australia that promotes economic wellbeing through technological innovation and the transfer and dissemination of technology. In doing so, the patent system balances over time the interests of producers, owners and users of technology and the public.

    The patent system has always benefited producers and owners of technology, by providing a system of exclusive rights. The intention of the objects clause was to put additional focus on the interests of users and the public, which might lie in fewer, rather than more, patents being issued – particularly to foreign entities, given that Australia is a net importer of technology.

    In this context, the court’s repeated insistence that recognising machine inventorship is the only course that is consistent with section 2A is simply false. There is presently no evidence that would enable the balance of interests in this development to be determined. The decision repeatedly cites Ryan Abbott’s work on the subject, but Abbott has no empirical evidence to support his contentions, and Abbott is the creator and head of the Artificial Inventor Project, which is the true driving force (and, I assume, source of funding) behind the DABUS/Thaler patent applications. You accuse me of assuming my own conclusion, but here the court appears to have been duped into accepting the views of an interested party as if they were independent authority.

    So, yes I do perhaps assume my own conclusion. Because as an Australian citizen I am entitled to a view on the matters that are suitable for judicial determination, and those that should be decided by our elected representatives through appropriate democratic processes of consultation, evidence-based policy formulation and legislation. And in this case I believe that view is supported by the relevant legislative history, and the government’s current policy position based on its acceptance and implementation of the PC’s recommendations.

  14. Curious July 31, 2021 9:15 am

    As to “advanced enough,” well, the very notion of ‘corporation’ LAGS far behind even the rudiments of AI, so that line of reasoning simply falls flat.
    No. I know of attorneys that own their own personal corporations. It is the legal entity for their work. It is a corporation, but it is operated by, owned by, and otherwise controlled by a human. It is essentially a human but for some special protections afforded to a corporation.

    Even large corporations are operated by, owned by, and otherwise controlled by a human.

    Regardless of the size, the decisions made by the corporation are made by humans. There is far, far, far more that ties a corporation to a human that there is to tie an AI to a human.

  15. Curious July 31, 2021 9:41 am

    Your statement of, “ DABUS, according to today’s decision, is not a legal person, and cannot own property, even though it can (apparently) be an inventor.” goes too far as this decision does NOT impute any nature of DABUS being (or not being) a legal person or owning or not owning property.
    If DABUS is not a legal person, then how can DABUS assign its property rights? I don’t what the requirements are in Australia, but how can DABUS execute the oath of inventorship in the US?

    First, that position confuses the question of ownership and control of a patentable invention including who can be a patentee, on the one hand, with the question of who can be an inventor, on the other hand.
    If ownership/control attaches to the patentee, but AI cannot exercise ownership/control, then what is the point? There is no point. It is an intellectual exercise to no end.

    Moreover, this notion that the current generations of AIs can be “inventors” degrades what it means to be an inventor. I suspect it can be used as a tool, by the anti-patent lobby, to denigrate the patent system as a whole.

    Why cannot our own creations also create?
    The current version does not create. Rather, they are highly advanced sifters whose problems are identified by the programmers and the sifting identifies solutions to those problems.

    This is from the website associated with the likely real “inventor” of this patent, Stephen Thaler:
    Arguably, DABUS may be considered “sentient” in that any chain-based concept launches a series of memories (i.e., affect chains) that sometimes terminate in critical recollections, thereby launching a tide of artificial molecules. It is these associated memory sequences, and the accompanying simulated neurotransmitter rush, that are considered equivalent to subjective feelings in humans (i.e., sentience). In this way, DABUS has an emotional appreciation for what it conceives.

    What did I write? Oh wait, here it is: My opinion is that there are those that are trying to co-opt the patent system (either in the US or elsewhere) as a backdoor to argue that AI’s should be legally recognizable as a “person.”

    Just say no. Very little good is going to come from this.

  16. Anon August 1, 2021 10:17 am

    Mr. Summerfield,

    The court was required to determine whether, and how, Thaler is entitled to the grant of a patent

    No.

    The Court was asked if AI could be an inventor.

    THAT was the point of the case.
    THAT was the point of the court’s decision.

    Note, that upon THAT decision, the Court remanded back to the patent office.

    You want to ‘argue’ the dicta of Thaler being the one entitled to a grant of a patent (an item not even yet reached, as no patent has yet issued in your Sovereign.

    ALL discussion of passing title and (potential) later ownership IS dicta to THIS decision. Inventorship and other attributes are simply different attributes, and it is only YOUR attempt to entangle them that is getting in your way here.

    Your assumed conclusion is driving your own belief.

    So yes, your admission to such gets in the way of your arguments here being persuasive.

    For example, you want to claim “legislative history” even though (twice now) the force of this has been neutered.

    For another example, you want to say ‘my government has spoken thusly,” and yet THIS decision IS your government speaking, and it is speaking opposite of what you want it to say.

    Based on that ALONE, you want to cherry pick and seem to say, that “my government has spoken thusly” does NOT include this portion of the government speaking thusly, and ONLY want to rest on the “non-said” items from a time prior to the current situation (factual situation, mind you) of AI existing AND inventing.

    I am not sure if you are aware that your position is very much akin to the proverbial ostrich sticking its head in the sand in order to not see what is around.

    That being said, I will defer to you statements on Australian Sovereignty, as that is not my forte.

    I DO find your inputs enlightening on the 2016 review and your Sovereign viewing that it is NOT (somehow) a ‘net beneficiary’ (but nonetheless NOT making any SUBSTANTIVE changes). I find the statement of ‘transfer of knowledge’ to reinforce the existing proposition as opposed to being one that changes that existing proposition.

    Maybe you can point out more clearly how an ‘objects clause’ makes the change as you suggest.

    As to what you ASSERT to be “simply false” – I simply do not agree – as this is merely you asserting the point to be proven as if it were already proven. Clearly, you FEEL differently than the judge, but I only see your feelings – and nothing more. Yes, an interested party’s views was ADVOCATED before the Judge. As to this being ‘independent,’ not sure why you would think so. You see ‘duped,’ but I only see advocacy.

  17. Anon August 1, 2021 6:49 pm

    Curious, you may need a new moniker as when it comes to this topic, you continue to display a LACK of curiosity and unwillingness to get out of your own way.

    As to your retort of, “Even large corporations are operated by, owned by, and otherwise controlled by a human.” and “Regardless of the size, the decisions made by the corporation are made by humans. There is far, far, far more that ties a corporation to a human that there is to tie an AI to a human.” you absolutely miss the point as to “advanced enough” and instead go to a sense of ‘control’ that exhibits NO sense of advancement.

    I take it from your comments that you actually have no background in this particular form of innovation.

    I do.

    Which makes your remarks all the more apparent that they are emotion driven rather than understanding driven.

    I know full well (as well) about corporations, as my second career was in corporate management. Your quips along the lines of “know of attorneys that own their own personal corporations. It is the legal entity for their work” are non-sequiturs to the point at hand. No one is saying otherwise in regards to corporations being juristic persons. That point avails you nothing here.

    It is essentially a human but for” is nowhere close to being true. Not for the legal principles related to this discussion.

    I suggest that you study Stanford v. Roche to grasp why.

    I also suggest that you approach THIS discussion one step at a time. You seem to want to jump ahead of yourself and not grasp the actual points at hand.

    You comments along the lines of, “If DABUS is not a legal person, then how can DABUS assign its property rights? I don’t what the requirements are in Australia, but how can DABUS execute the oath of inventorship in the US?” exemplify this.

    Look back at my own comments on US jurisprudence. no one here is talking about any such LATER items such as assigning of property rights or executing oaths. Those may or may not raise different issues than the single issue to focus upon here: can AI be deemed to be an inventor.

    Instead of outright dismissing a critical point, pull your head out and understand first what the legal point IS.

    Currently – especially in the US – there befalls a critical problem with invention by AI (and NOT just ‘invented solely’ as would be the case with DABUS – but ALSO with ANY co-invented innovation; as well as the impacts of AI on the other non-human legal fiction of Person Having Ordinary Skill In The Art).

    Your path of “just ignore” does not – and cannot – even begin to comprehend the legal quagmires that FIRST must be recognized before they can be addressed. And these quagmires are here RIGHT NOW and need not wait for the Singularity to actually occur.

    As to, “Moreover, this notion that the current generations of AIs can be “inventors” degrades what it means to be an inventor”: I call pure B$. You have zero factual or legal basis for such a statement, and this view of yours is pure emotional rant.

    I just don’t buy any of that.

    I suspect it can be used as a tool, by the anti-patent lobby, to denigrate the patent system as a whole.

    How? Where do these suspicions arise? I have not seen ANY of the usual anti-patentists making ANY such noise. And believe me, I am on top of what the anti-patentists do.

    You (again) blandly – and quite incorrectly – assert, “The current version does not create.

    You really do not understand this technology, and your fifth grade paraphrasing shows that.

    You want to site from Thaler (who, no matter his own spin, is clearly not the inventor) with statements of Thaler’s vision, as if that proves your point or that he ‘must be’ the real inventor.

    Neither follows.

    This is not the matter of ‘co-opting’ that you want to see. Quite in fact, Thaler is actually stepping into the breach (the opposite of co-opting) and quite clearly under US law CANNOT obtain a US patent with his position. Again, read Stanford v. Roche to understand why.

  18. Curious August 1, 2021 10:56 pm

    Curious, you may need a new moniker as when it comes to this topic, you continue to display a LACK of curiosity and unwillingness to get out of your own way.
    F off. Unlike your unfocused ramblings, I’m quite clear as to my position and my reasoning. This whole exercise is a stunt by some to get some government agency to recognize AI as a person.

    Will it serve to promote the progress of science and useful arts? Absolutely not. Any invention supposedly “patent” by an AI cannot be protected. An AI does not have the legal capacity to either assign the patent or sue on it. Essentially, the patent does not exist. Your citation to Stanford v. Roche supports that argument. So, what is the point? The point is a handful of futurists want to birth AI as a person. I’m sorry, patent law has enough problems these days to be associated with that ethical/legal/religious PR nightmare. It is my personal opinion, based upon what AI is today, that we aren’t even remotely close to being there. Personally, I don’t have any hang ups about it if such a thing ever came to pass, but that isn’t going to happen for a very long time.

    I take it from your comments that you actually have no background in this particular form of innovation.
    Then you would be f-ing wrong. I have a large client who is very well-known for AI work. I run across AI applications all the time. I’ve had to do in-depth research on different forms of AI in order to draft patent applications. Frankly, I’m knee-deep in AI these days.

    Which makes your remarks all the more apparent that they are emotion driven rather than understanding driven.
    Oh … here it is … your most common way of dismissing someone else’s argument –asserting that your arguments are based upon logic while someone else’s arguments are based upon emotion. F you.

    No one is saying otherwise in regards to corporations being juristic persons. That point avails you nothing here.
    Ah … another one of your favorite retorts – just ignore a good rebuttal. You are the one that wrote “the very notion of ‘corporation’ LAGS far behind even the rudiments of AI.” I countered that by noting that in many aspects, corporations are indistinguishable from persons – in that corporations are essentially directed/controlled by persons. You are the one who brought up corporations, not me. Don’t get bent out of shape when your comparison goes awry.

    You have zero factual or legal basis for such a statement, and this view of yours is pure emotional rant.
    It is my opinion and one I’m sticking with. Do you think it will be harder or easier for the anti-patent crowd to dismiss patents when an automaton can get a patent? If you had to think more than a second about this, you are more emotionally attached to this than I thought. The anti-patent crowd will use “AI as an inventor” as an example as to how little it takes to get a patent.

    I have not seen ANY of the usual anti-patentists making ANY such noise. And believe me, I am on top of what the anti-patentists do.
    Seriously, are you this slow in real life? You haven’t because AI hasn’t been recognized as a person in any meaningful way.

    You really do not understand this technology, and your fifth grade paraphrasing shows that.
    Again, f-off. I know this technology better than 99.999% of people. For that reason, I don’t grant it any mystical reverence. It is just another technology to me. It is A R T I F I C I A L intelligence. Note that the part about “artificial.” It isn’t real intelligence. For example, an artificial tree resembles a tree in certain aspects. However, it isn’t a real tree, and I’m not going to pretend otherwise.

    You want to site from Thaler (who, no matter his own spin, is clearly not the inventor) with statements of Thaler’s vision, as if that proves your point or that he ‘must be’ the real inventor.
    I can all but guarantee that DABUS, didn’t speak to Thaler out of the blue and say “Dave [all good AIs address their human counterparts as “Dave”], I have this wonderful idea for an improved food container … let me explain it to you.” For all that was written about DABUS, I can find no explanation as to how this “invention” was communicated by DABUS to Thaler. Thaler never explains how this invention was brought to his attention.

    BTW –Thaler is one wacky guy. And that is putting it mildly. He is somewhat fond of impressive-sounding word salads – somewhat like you. I can understand the attraction here.

    Another BTW, I see you are emoting when you say that Thaler “is clearly not the inventor.” Until the actual facts of how DABUS was used to generate the invention are revealed, It isn’t appropriate to eliminate Thaler as the real inventor.

    and quite clearly under US law CANNOT obtain a US patent with his position
    I never said he could.

    Gene – feel free to delete this if my use of off-color language stepped over the line. However, if you do, please forward it to Anon. He deserves to know what I think about his take regarding this topic.

  19. Anon August 2, 2021 8:09 am

    Curious,

    The better phrase would be “how I feel” rather than “how I think.”

    And don’t worry about me handling expletives – worry more about how easy you dive into them while supposedly staying rationale.

    I am not the one with “unfocused ramblings.” Funny how you went there when I am trying to get YOU to focus one step at a time on the legal issues. Instead, you (again) want to drive right past the “inventor” point and try to entangle in other aspects of assign and oath.

    Maybe try (again) on one step at a time. That way YOU won’t be so unfocused (and maybe your curiosity will return).

    As to your attempt at maintaining your wayward position on corporations as a “good rebuttal,” sorry but that did not cut it — for the direct reasons given. You missed the boat there, no matter how you feel. The (control) or “directed by” is an immaterial point to the discussion at hand. Not sure why you want to (again) focus on immaterial points.

    As to the anti-patentists and using AI against patents, I am well aware that such is your opinion – but as I stated, it is an unfounded one. You project your own feelings into a situation that has zero backing. Hey, I have no problem with you having baseless feelings and opinions; everyone gets to have their own opinions. But you don’t get to have those baseless opinions not be labeled for what they are. (I am not the slow one on this point — clearly).

    As to Thaler, you miss my point completely. I know, shocking right? Maybe if you weren’t so emotional, you would recognize that I have separated his rants from the actual legs topic. Rather than apply ill-fitting ad hominem, you try to address what I actually wrote.

    Not sure exactly why you are so dead set against exploring the (immediate) ramifications of a non-human inventor. As I have pointed out, this IS here and now, does not have to wait for the event of the Singularity, and is quite separate from ANY notion of equating human rights and AI beings under general law.

    This IS recognizing the legal aspects of inventorship occurs outside of traditional human inventorship and the inevitable ripples through patent law concepts such as the juristic Person Having Ordinary Skill In The Arts.

    Take a deep breath (preferably after you pull your head out).

  20. Curious August 3, 2021 8:14 am

    Another classic Anon response. Saying a whole lot while saying little at all aside outside of belittling your opponents as being overly emotional.

    As to Thaler, you miss my point completely. I know, shocking right?
    EVERYONE misses your points — because they are POORLY WRITTEN. Your convoluted word salads and self-referential statements sound like some of the stuff I found from Thaler. You think you are being clever (or smart) but in reality you are being obtuse. FYI — I’m not the only one that has noticed these things.

    Instead, you (again) want to drive right past the “inventor” point and try to entangle in other aspects of assign and oath.
    I addressed the inventor part as well — your reading comprehension skills let you down again. Notice the part about “I can all but guarantee that DABUS, didn’t speak to Thaler out of the blue and say “Dave [all good AIs address their human counterparts as “Dave”], I have this wonderful idea for an improved food container … let me explain it to you.” For all that was written about DABUS, I can find no explanation as to how this “invention” was communicated by DABUS to Thaler. Thaler never explains how this invention was brought to his attention.” Did you read that part?

    Not sure why you want to (again) focus on immaterial points.
    You are the one who brought up corporations — not me. That was your focus — not mine.

    Not sure exactly why you are so dead set against exploring the (immediate) ramifications of a non-human inventor.
    Then your reading comprehension needs a whole lot of work. I’m the one who has engaged in “exploring the (immediate) ramifications of a non-human inventor.” I suggest you do the same and try to predict the ramifications that will come from this.

    As to the anti-patentists and using AI against patents …
    Another classic Anon dodge. Discussing how the anti-patentists would react to AI as an inventor is part of the “exploring the (immediate) ramifications of a non-human inventor.” So what happened? We get to this point and the only thing out of you is insults of me. This was your chance to discuss the ramifications yet you do the classic Anon response by dodging the issues.

    As I have pointed out, this IS here and now, does not have to wait for the event of the Singularity.
    I have read LOTS of science fiction. I know all about the “Singularity.” We aren’t even remotely close to opening up that Pandora’s Box. Patent law, on the other hand, is my real hear and now, and it has enough problem without having to do with the negative fallout associated with granting inventorship to an AI.

    and is quite separate from ANY notion of equating human rights and AI beings under general law
    Sorry. Patent law was set up to have human beings as inventors (at least in the US). I understand the desire to set aside those considerations as they are fatal to an AI becoming a real inventor (at least in the US). However, if we are going to talk about the “ramifications” we need to talk about ALL of them.

    the inevitable ripples through patent law concepts such as the juristic Person Having Ordinary Skill In The Arts.
    Apparently you haven’t thought this through. Do you want the POSITA to have superhuman sorting skills? Having the ability to evaluate millions of different scenarios with the press of a button? If AI by company X could produce the invention wouldn’t the AI by company Y be capable of producing the same invention? Wouldn’t that invention be obvious then? Do you really want to go down that rabbit whole? Is that what you want? To make patents harder to get?

    As I wrote, “patent law has enough problems these days.” It seems you are a cheerleader for adding more problems to our plate.

    I’ll end this by noting that by at least one count, your last post was 401 words — the vast majority of which was spent insulting me. Do you know how many of those 401 words were spent discussing the “ramifications” of the topic at hand? That number would be ZERO.

    Do better next time.

  21. Anon August 3, 2021 11:15 am

    My last post was directed TO you.

    Why would you be surprised then at the numbers of your analysis?

    You have whined (again) about “word salad,” and (again) missed the points presented.

    Maybe instead of so much focus on your feelings (and why my words should not be accepted), you actually try to understand the plain and direct points provided.

    By the way, “insults” to you are fully deserved in the manner of John Maynard Keynes. Don’t like that? Maybe YOU should do better next time.

  22. Curious August 3, 2021 2:07 pm

    Classic Anon — complaining about the poster yet addressing nothing of substance. There was NOTHING about AI as an inventor or its ramifications in your last post.

    This is hardly surprising because this is what you do. You complain about other people yet offer up little of your own thoughts/analysis.

    You want to debate the issues? Then let’s debate the issues.

    Whom I am kidding. You have little interest in debate … you just want to dance.

  23. Anon August 3, 2021 5:13 pm

    Lol, classic Curious — mistaking the difference in points addressed to you (for your whining) and the initial points previously presented.

    Again – if you don’t like the JMK treatment, YOU need to do better.

    I also note that you have failed to actually advance upon ANY issue here. You don’t even like to dance, just whine.

    And, evidently, suffer the JMK treatment.

    (btw, no one has provided more substance on this topic for this blog than I. Maybe you really should stop whining and start reading)

  24. Curious August 3, 2021 8:02 pm

    and the initial points previously presented
    LOL … I knew this one was coming. A normal person would have simply cut and paste from a prior comment about some issue and then said … “here, this is what I wrote ….”. But not you — you would have somebody attempt to comb through your ramblings to find some nugget that has to be reinterpreted (after the fact) in order for it to make sense. Sorry, not interested.

    btw, no one has provided more substance on this topic for this blog than I
    I’m sorry we have differing opinions as to what constitutes “substance.” Your constant insults does not constitute “substance” in my book.

    Again — all of this is classic Anon. When pointedly asked about certain issues, he defers to something he previously wrote — what that actually is, however, only he knows because he doesn’t specifically identify what he previously wrote that is supposedly relevant to the issue at hand.

    Just say “I don’t know” or “I don’t care.” Don’t pretend to have answered something when you haven’t. I could present a list of pointed questions that I asked in this thread to which you have yet to provide answers. I would reproduce those questions, but you have no intention of providing any answers to anything. That’s just the way you operate.

  25. Anon August 3, 2021 9:02 pm

    I saw this coming

    Too funny.

    You have said nothing in trying to claim that I have said nothing.

    Why should I even bother to cut and paste when you won’t read in the first instance?

    I don’t even have to leave this thread. Look up son at least at 4, 6, 9, and 16.

    For someone who names themselves “Curious,” you are decidedly not.

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