AI Inventorship on the Horizon: Part 1

October 05, 2021

When you hear the word “inventor,” who comes to mind? There are many notable names that you likely thought of. Out of all the names, were any of them an artificial intelligence (AI) machine? They soon might be.

In Canada and many other jurisdictions, there are currently no patents granted to an AI inventor. However, the presence of AI is constantly growing and transforming industries around the world. In South Africa, a patent was recently granted to an AI inventor named DABUS – likely the first globally. No doubt, patent systems around the world are starting to grapple with a key question: should an inventor be an AI machine?

In this three part blog post series, we will dive deeper into legal considerations surrounding whether an AI machine can, or should, be an inventor and/or owner of a patent by examining the treatment of analogous patent applications in other jurisdictions. Click here to read Part 1 which introduces the AI inventor DABUS and the subject matter underlying the granted South African patent.


The authors would like to thank students Marisa Kwan and Aaqib Mahmood for their assistance in preparing this update.