An extraordinary Judgement was delivered on 30 July 2021 by Justice Beach of the Federal Court of Australia.
Whilst leaving the question open to future debate as to whether or not the artificial intelligence system named DABUS is, in fact, the inventor of the Australian patent in question, the decision provides a very strong position supporting the fact that artificial intelligence systems can, themselves, be an "inventor" for the purposes of Australian patent law.
In the result, the Court has found that Mr Thaler's application for a patent that names the inventor as DABUS meets the threshold formality requirements for the filing of an Australian patent application, thereby overturning the Commissioner of Patents' decision to publish the lapsing of Mr Thaler's Australian application for failing to have named a human an inventor.
The decision is being heralded as rendering Australia the first country in the world to recognise non-human inventors. Perhaps even more significant than recognising that artificial intelligence systems can be inventors, the ramifications of the recognition provided by this Judgement may have a significant impact on the way courts deal with the patentability of software inventions going forward.
That, of course, remains to be seen, as does whether the Commissioner appeals this decision…
To read the full judgement click here.