Bloomberg Law
Oct. 8, 2021, 12:03 PM

Patents and Artificial Intelligence: An ‘Obvious’ Slippery Slope

Matthew Bultman
Matthew Bultman

Stephen Thaler and Ryan Abbott plan to bring a light beacon, a beverage container, and a machine called Dabus into court, along with a simple question: Does an inventor need to be human?

Depending on how they respond, a panel of judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit could open the door to another significant question: What is “obvious” to a machine?

A basic tenet of U.S. law is that patents aren’t awarded for inventions that are obvious. The standard of obviousness in patent law is measured against a hypothetical person of ordinary skill in the ...

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