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AI Update in the UK: UKIPO to Appeal Emotional Perception AI Decision

Europe Updates / Feb 15, 2024

Written by Caleb Gilliam-Scott

In an update to a recent article on a decision involving artificial neural networks (ANNs) issued by the UK High Court, a date for hearing an appeal lodged by the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) has been set.

Following the decision in Emotional Perception AI Ltd v Comptroller-General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks [2023] EWHC 2948 (Ch), the UKIPO suspended its existing guidelines on the examination of patent applications relating to artificial intelligence (AI) inventions as of 23rd November 2023, and six days later issued a practice note that patent examiners should not object to inventions involving ANNs under the “program for a computer” exclusion.

The UKIPO then reported to the UK Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA) that on 15th December 2023, the UKIPO was granted leave to appeal the decision of the High Court.

The court date for that appeal has now been fixed for 14 May 2024, but documents have yet to be submitted.

Should the Court of Appeal find in favour of the UKIPO and overturn the pro-patentee decision, there could be an extended period of legal uncertainty in the UK as to the applicability of the patentability exclusion for ANNs. In such a case, Emotional Perception AI Ltd. would likely seek leave to appeal to the UK Supreme Court, and a definitive answer on the issue may not be given for some time yet to come.