In three previous blog posts, we have discussed recent inventorship issues surrounding Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) and its implications for life sciences innovations – focusing specifically on scientist Stephen Thaler’s attempt to obtain a patent for an invention created by his AI system called DABUS (“Device for Autonomus Bootstrapping of Unified Sentence). Most recently, we considered Thaler’s appeal of the September 3, 2021 decision out of the Eastern District of Virginia, which ruled that under the Patent Act, an AI machine cannot qualify as an “inventor.” Continuing this series, we now consider the USPTO’s recently filed opposition to Thaler’s appeal.
Anisha Shenai-Khatkhate is an associate in the Litigation Department. She is a commercial litigator with a particular emphasis on false advertising and consumer class actions, copyright disputes, and related intellectual property litigation. Anisha has experience representing and advising clients in a wide array of industries including consumer products, music and entertainment, publishing, telecommunications, fashion and sports.
Anisha is an editor of and a frequent author for Proskauer’s advertising law blog, Proskauer on Advertising.
Prior to joining Proskauer, Anisha earned a B.A. in Neurobiology from Harvard University, and J.D. from Columbia Law School. While at Columbia, Anisha interned at Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, helping to provide pro bono legal services to New York artists and arts organizations. She also served as an articles editor of the Columbia Science and Technology Law Review, and was the recipient of Columbia Law School’s Emil Schlesinger Labor Law Prize, awarded annually to the student most proficient in the subject of labor law.
On August 23rd, the Federal Circuit upheld in part and reversed in part a decision from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s (PTAB or Board) concerning Ethicon’s patent on a robotic surgical tool, holding that the Board’s finding of no motivation to combine is not supported by substantial evidence. In doing so, the court determined the PTAB “went too far” in its holding of non-obviousness by requiring Intuitive to specifically identify a preexisting surgical device performing as many functions as required by the Ethicon patent; it was enough that the prior art established such a device was “at least possible.”