AI As Inventor, Restaurants’ Covid Cases, Courts Go Cloud: The Morning Minute

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LAST CHANCE FOR AI? – The quest to give artificial intelligence the status of “inventor” is still making its way through the courts—after more than a few setbacks. Stephen Thaler originally tried to get his AI system, deemed “ DABUS” listed as an investor on a patent application, which the PTO rejected. After U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema of the Eastern District of Virginia sided with the patent agency, the case, Thaler v. Vidal, is now before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, Scott Graham reports. The judges in that court, however, seem cool to arguments from Brown Neri Smith & Khan partner Ryan Abbott, who is representing Thaler. At one point in the hearing, Judge Richard Taranto even asked: “Do the mythic monkeys who type out Shakespeare get to be copyright holders?”

COVID ISN’T COVERED Restaurants looking to their business interruption insurance as a pandemic lifeline may have hit the end of the road. Katheryn Hayes Tucker reports that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit recently became the latest court to deny restaurants’ argument that their insurance should cover losses stemming from shutdowns caused by COVID-19. In the ruling, Judge Britt Grant noted the broad consensus among U.S. courts on this issue. “So far, every federal and state appellate court to consider the issue (including this one) has held that the presence of COVID-19 causes a business’s property intangible harm, rather than direct physical harm. That means COVID-19-related expenses and losses are not covered.” The judge added that as of now, no court has allowed restaurants’ cases to go forward. “We are not alone in our conclusion,” she said.

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