South Africa awards patent to artificial intelligence

This is a world first, in South Africa, an artificial intelligence has just signed its first patent. This IA is therefore considered to be the inventor of this patent. Called Dabus, this artificial intelligence was developed by American researcher Stephen Thaler. This patent in question is a food container that allows better heat retention, fully designed by Dabus in August 2020.

The status of artificial intelligence to review?

Obviously, the concept is not very innovative, Tupperware has been offering this since 1946, however, the acknowledgment of paternity is historic. For the past two years, the team behind The Artificial Inventor Project has been trying by all means to have Dabus recognized as the holder of this patent. The Artificial Inventor Project has filed dozens of applications all over the world, whether in the United States, the European Union, or the United Kingdom, without success. It was not until July 29, 2021 that the South African patent office became the first to recognize Dabus as the owner of this patent.

Asked by Le Figaro, Alexandra Mendoza-Caminade, professor at Toulouse Capitole University, explains: “If until now no other office has admitted a patent with mention of an AI, it is because we consider that the inventor must necessarily be a natural person”. The latter adds: “Today AI is not a subject of law, and has no law. We cannot therefore recognize and protect his creations. This will be the case as long as it is recognized as a machine and a tool ”.

Within the European Union, debates around artificial intelligence are becoming more and more common. Very often the issues are related to autonomous driving, or data collection. Patent filings are therefore still a long way off the priority list. The changing status of artificial intelligence so much to evolve all over the world, not just in Europe.

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