Australian court rules that AI can be recognised as inventor in patent submissions

The Federal Court of Australia has ruled that an artificial intelligence (AI) system can be recognised as an inventor in a patent submission. The ruling was issued in a case brought against a decision by the Australian Commissioner of Patents, which had argued that an invention by an AI system cannot be patentable because applicable legislation (the Patents Act) requires a human inventor. The Federal Court disagreed with this assessment and ruled that an AI system can be an inventor for the purpose of the Act, on the following reasons: (a) an inventor is an agent noun, and an agent can be a person or a thing that invents; (b) there are many patentable inventions where it cannot be sensibly said that a human is the inventor; and (c) there is nothing in the Act that dictates the contrary conclusion. The court also sent the patent application in question back to the Commissioner of Patents, requiring that the reasons for the patent rejection are reconsidered.