The first applications seeking patents on inventions said to be created completely by artificial intelligence will force patent offices to grapple with issues that may sound as if they belong in a science-fiction movie but nevertheless could profoundly shape the future of innovation, attorneys say.
Centuries of only humans seeking patents mean that “the system is not made for this,” said Intellectual Property Partner Ravi Mohan from Rutan & Tucker. In addition to the filing requirements, infringement cases often hinge on testimony from inventors about how they came up with the idea and the process they used for their experiments, something AI likely couldn’t provide.
“If they say yes, AI can be an inventor, it’s going to require an upheaval of the entire patent system,” Mohan said.
“When you’re a human, there’s an incentive to have your name associated with something and to be first, but AI has no feelings,” Mohan said. “My argument would be there’s no real incentive for AI to promote science and useful arts.”
Another potential problem with permitting AI-created inventions to be patented is that powerful AI could create so many new things that it might hinder humans from obtaining patents.