Artificial intelligence

German Federal Patent Court points to solution for Dabus inventions

A decision by the German Federal Patent Court has pointed a way forward in the debate surrounding how inventions created by artificial intelligence can be correctly registered. The person behind the process must be named as the inventor on the inventor form and this may be supplemented by the artificial intelligence system.

16 November 2021 by Christina Schulze

dabus, artificial intelligence, patent litigation How to correctly register an invention created by artificial intelligence is a matter of concern for the EPO and the courts in Germany and the UK. ©sdecoret/ADOBE STOCK

Courts around the globe have dealt with the inventions of Stephen Thaler’s artificial intelligence (AI) system Dabus. The German Federal Patent Court has now come to a pragmatic decision over DE1020191281202. According to the court, the listed inventor must be a natural person, even if the AI has identified both the problem and the solution. At the same time, however, the AI system itself can be additionally named.

Dabus, patent litigation, artificial intelligence

Markus Rieck

According to observers, the decision is in line with the ruling from the UK Court of Appeal in September. The UK court rejected the notion that the AI system Dabus is an inventor in its own right.

Following the decisions in Germany and the UK, the patent scene eagerly awaits the hearing at the European Patent Office on 21 December 2021.

There is also a great deal of academic interest in the proceedings because of the fundamental role of AI in the protection of inventions. The EPO proceedings are expected to be publicly accessible via video link.

Dabus defenders

The same representatives as in the UK and German Dabus proceedings are expected to appear at the EPO. In Germany, Stephen Thaler relies on a team consisting of patent attorneys Markus Rieck of Fuchs IP and Malte Köllner, who works in his own firm. The firms have a close working relationship in this case.

There is also close coordination with Robert Jehan of Williams Powell who is handling the UK proceedings. Outside Europe, the Israeli and US patent attorney Reuven Mouallem plays a central role.

Dabus, patent litigation, artificial intelligence

Malte Köllner

For Dabus
Fuchs IP (Frankfurt): Markus Rieck (patent attorney)
Köllner & Partner (Frankfurt): Malte Köllner (patent attorney)

German Federal Patent Court
Siegfried Höchst (presiding judge), Anton Eisenrauch, Timo Schwenke