On Friday, 17 September 2021, the Intellectual Property team at Bennett & Philp hosted its second Case Briefing Discussion event for the year at Brisbane City Hall presented by Dr Amanda-Jane George.
The event started with our Senior Associate, Michael Finney introducing the topic and our guest speaker, Dr Amanda-Jane George.
The topic of this session was the recent Federal Court decision of Thaler v Commissioner of Patents  FCA 879. The decision was handed down on 30 July 2021 and since that time has created considerable buzz worldwide for being the first decision of its kind. In Thaler v Commissioner of Patents  FCA 879 his Honour Justice Beach found that artificial intelligence software (DABUS) could be an “inventor” for the purposes of section 15 of the Patents Act 1995 (and the regulations to that Act) and that the patentable invention invented by DABUS could be owned by Dr Thaler as he was the ultimate controller of and derived title from DABUS.
Dr George presented and analysed the arguments raised before Justice Beach and in similar proceedings in the UK, European and US courts. The discussion after Dr George’s presentation traversed such issues as public policy concerns; what it may mean for practice (for example, in terms of the qualities of skilled addresses in respect of inventions created by artificial intelligence); the (potential) implications of the decision if it continues to be the law in Australia (including that our patent law will fall out of step with our major trading partners); the likelihood the decision will be overturned on appeal; and speculation as to the motives of Dr Thaler.
Dr Thaler has filed similar suits in multiple jurisdictions, and has so far only been successful in Australia. The decision is currently on appeal to the Full Federal Court of Australia.
The event was very well-received, and we are grateful to Dr George for her time and for the quality of her presentation and discussion. We would like to thank our guests for joining us and making the event an enjoyable and thought provoking occasion.
Keep your eyes peeled for our next Case Briefing Discussion event. If you would like to be added to our mailing list or would like a copy of the slides for the session, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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