US Patent Office: AI is all well and good, but only humans can patent things
The question of where AI sits in the legal personhood stack isn’t as simple as it may seem (i.e. “nowhere”) — but the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office today declared that, as with other intellectual property, only a person can receive its official protections.
The news arrived via “guidance,” which is to say official policy but not ironclad rule, set to be entered into the federal register soon. The guidance document (PDF) specifies that for clear legal reasons, as well as the notion that, fundamentally, “patents function to incentivize and reward human ingenuity,” only “natural humans” can be awarded patents.