AI can be recognized as an inventor rules Australian Court

After a landmark decision, AI systems can be legally recognised as an inventor in patent applications.

An Australian court has made a landmark decision by deciding that artificial intelligence (AI) systems can become legally recognised inventors in patent applications, breaking the norm that only humans can be identified as inventors. 

The “Device for the autonomous bootstrapping of unified sentience”, or DABUS, an AI machine and its machine have been embroiled in legal battles across the Europe, America and Australia since the past two years. Leading the battle on behalf of DABUS, globally, is AI pioneer and creator of DABUS, Stephen Thaler, and his legal team. And it seems that after a string of rejections in 2020 from UK and US-based courts, they’re finally winning!

In late July, South Africa became the first country to defy the status quo and award a patent recognising DABUS as an inventor. Australia followed suit on Friday by passing the judgement that “the inventor can be non-human”.

Dr Thaler says he is elated by the South African and Australian decisions, but for him it’s never been a legal battle. “It’s been more of a philosophical battle, convincing humanity that my creative neural architectures are compelling models of cognition, creativity, sentience, and consciousness,” he says.

“The recently established fact that DABUS has created patent-worthy inventions is further evidence that the system ‘walks and talks’ just like a conscious human brain.”

About DABUS 

DABUS is a network of disconnected neural nets that continously generate “thought processes” and “memories” which over time independently generate new and inventive outputs.

In 2019, two patent applications naming DABUS as the inventor were filed in more than a dozen countries and the European Union. The applications list DABUS as the inventor, but Dr Thaler is still the owner of the patent, meaning they’re not trying to advocate for property rights for AI.


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