Inventorship in the Age of Artificial Intelligence
17 Pages Posted: 10 Sep 2020 Last revised: 3 Jun 2021
Date Written: June 3, 2021
Artificial Intelligence is shaking up patent law. One of the most important questions in this regard is whether current patent laws adequately deal with increasing machine autonomy when it comes to inventorship. This paper uses two examples, namely Robot Scientists in drug development and antenna design in electrical engineering, to gauge the current level of machine automation in industrial production. A legal assessment carried out on this basis shows that the current use of the term inventorship is not future-proof and calls for policy adjustments: Patent law’s procedural provisions need to be amended and must overcome the requirement that only a human being can be an inventor. Moreover, droit moral considerations should be eliminated from substantive patent law altogether. Both measures would restore transparency in the patent register, reflecting the actual inventive activity.
Keywords: Artificial Intelligence, Inventorship, Patent Law, Automated Drug Design
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