Journal of Law and Policy


With proliferation of Artificial Intelligence research and development, it is foreseeable that these machines will invent many new patentable technologies. However, the United States Patent and Trademark Office recently deemed a patent application incomplete for listing an AI machine as the inventor. If the USPTO’s decision is not corrected, the patent system will be in danger because many fraudulent patent applications that list incorrect inventors will be filed. This would drastically change existing and settled inventorship jurisprudence and might endanger the patent protection over such patents. This Note argues that the USPTO’s reasons for not allowing the Artificial Intelligence machine to be listed as an inventor are erroneous. First, AI machines with internal neural networks that allow for continual self-training to develop novel ideas satisfy the Conception Requirement. Second, the language of Title 35 of the U.S.C. does not inherently suggest a national person is required to be the inventor; it only requires a legal person to be the inventor. Therefore, this Note calls for the limited legal personhood of AI to serve the purpose of inventorship eligibility.