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Supreme Court judgement in Thaler v Comptroller-General

20 December 2023

The UK Supreme Court have issued their judgement in Thaler v Comptroller-General thus bringing the DABUS saga to a close in the UK (for now…).

Initial headline summary:

*Appeal dismissed*

(a) Does section 13(2)(a) of the Patents Act 1977 (the “1977 Act”) require a person to be named as the inventor in all cases, including where the applicant believes the invention was created by an AI machine in the absence of a traditional human inventor?

An inventor “must be a natural person” is the only reasonable interpretation. It follows that DABUS was not and is not an inventor.

(b) Does the 1977 Act provide for the grant of a patent without a named human inventor?

Because DABUS is not and has never been an inventor, then Dr Thaler’s case must be rejected.

(c) In the case of an invention made by an AI machine, is the owner, creator and user of that AI machine entitled to the grant of a patent for that invention?

As above.

Please find a link to the full judgement here: Thaler (Appellant) v Comptroller-General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks (Respondent) (


Dr Harry Strange

Electronics, Computing & Physics group

This publication is a general summary of the law. It should not replace legal advice tailored to your specific circumstances.

© Withers & Rogers LLP December 2023