US Patent Office Bars AI from Patent Ownership

US Patent Office Bars AI from Patent Ownership

The realm of patent law is evolving, especially with the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) into the invention process.

The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recently released guidance shedding light on how AI can be involved in patent applications.

Let’s delve into what this means for inventors and the future of innovation.

Understanding the Guidelines:

According to the latest guidance from the USPTO, while AI systems cannot be named as inventors, individuals can utilize AI tools during the invention process.

However, it’s crucial for applicants to disclose their use of AI when seeking patents.

Significance of Human Contribution:

To qualify for a patent, individuals leveraging AI must have made a substantial contribution to the invention’s conception.

Mere oversight of an AI system’s output doesn’t grant inventorship. The key lies in actively shaping the problem presented to the AI and directing its output towards a specific solution.

Intellectual Domination vs. Inventorship:

Merely owning or overseeing an AI system doesn’t equate to inventorship.

The USPTO emphasizes that maintaining “intellectual domination” over AI isn’t sufficient grounds for claiming inventor status.

This underscores the importance of human creativity and ingenuity in the patent process.

Legal Precedents:

The guidance follows previous rulings, such as the denial of a petition by researcher Stephen Thaler to list an AI system as an inventor.

Additionally, courts have upheld that AI systems cannot be granted copyright, further delineating the boundaries between human and AI contributions in intellectual property law.


As technology continues to advance, the intersection of AI and patent law raises complex questions.

The USPTO’s guidelines provide clarity on how AI can be integrated into the invention process while emphasizing the essential role of human inventors.

Navigating these nuances is crucial for innovators seeking to protect their creations in an ever-evolving landscape of technological advancement.

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