Patent decision

BL number
Concerning rights in
GB1816909.4, GB1818161.0
Hearing Officer
Mr H Jones
Decision date
4 December 2019
Person(s) or Company(s) involved
Stephen L Thaler
Provisions discussed
Section 7 and 13, Rule 10
Related Decisions


The decision relates to the question of whether a non-human inventor, e.g. an Artificial Intelligence (AI) machine, can be regarded an inventor under the Act and, if so, in what way has the right to the grant of a patent, which rests primarily with the inventor, been transferred to the applicant. The hearing officer found that reference in the Act and Rules to the inventor as being a person was intended to mean a human person, meaning that the naming of an AI machine as inventor failed to satisfy the requirement under section 13(2)(a). Also, given that machines do not have a legal personality and cannot own property, the hearing officer found that it was not possible to transfer a property right from the AI machine to the applicant by mere ownership of the AI machine, thus failing to meet the requirement of section 13(2)(b). The applications would be taken to be withdrawn for failure to meet the formal requirements of section 13 at the end of the prescribed period.

Full decision O/741/19 PDF document204Kb