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Last month, I presented to the Perth Machine Learning Group on the topic of “Robot as Inventor”, principally to discuss the recent Federal Court of Australia decision in Thaler v Commissioner of Patents which decided that an artificial intelligence system can be an inventor for the purposes of the Patents Act.

This was a fun presentation, on an emerging topic that is going to challenge policy makers and intellectual property systems globally as machine learning and artificial intelligence become more entrenched in our daily lives, and the creation of new things. The key policy question is whether human involvement should be required to attract intellectual property protection, or whether the output of AI deserves such legal protection.

As for now, in Australia, it is possible to file a patent application that nominates an AI system as the inventor. The decision is subject to an appeal to the Full Federal Court, which has not yet been heard (as at the date of this post, 30 October 2021).

In any event, it does not necessarily mean that this application will proceed to registration and grant of a patent. It still needs to be examined, as per any other patent application.

The full recording of my presentation is now available. Better watch it quickly before something changes and it goes out-of-date! This is a fluid area of law, and further developments may occur.

Thanks again to Tank Stream Labs for hosting, and the great audience participation in the room.

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