Bahram Ravani, PhD is a distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of California – Davis. He received his PhD from Stanford University in California 1982, his MS with Distinction from Columbia University in New York in 1978 and his BS degree Magna Cum Laude at Louisiana State University in 1976. He was on the faculty at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. He has been the recipient of several honors and awards from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and one from society of Manufacturing Engineers. He is a fellow of ASME and has been active in providing consulting in the practice of engineering in addition of his role in educating engineering professionals.
Whether or not the law recognizes a machine as the inventor-at-law, the facts are indispensable to determination of the true inventor-in-fact. In the case of Stephen Thaler’s attempt to obtain patent protection for a food container and light stick he says were independently invented by his AI machine, DABUS, the inventor-in-fact will be either Thaler or his machine. The procedural posture of Thaler v. Vidal caused the discourse to jump over the facts of how the food container and the light stick were invented by DABUS. These overlooked facts may reveal the true inventor, regardless of whether or not the type of inventor is recognized by the current law.
“Mathematical Formulas and Relationships” fall under the “Abstract Idea” exception to the categories of patentable subject matter. Characterizing the “Mathematical Formulas and Relationships” as “Abstract Ideas” has led to misrepresentation of mathematical concepts in patent law. A “Mathematical Formula or Relationship” is a means of expression and should be inspected to extract what it expresses. Next, the content that is being expressed may be evaluated to determine whether the “Mathematical Formula or Relationship” is expressing a “Tool” or a “Model,” both of which are used for building machines and devising technological processes and neither of which needs to be categorically excepted from patentability.