Recent debates about AI patentability have focused on whether the outputs of an AI system, such as a neural network, can be patented. Such debates have been spurred not only by recent general advances in the power of AI but also by Dr. Stephen Thaler’s “Artificial Inventor” project’s attempts to obtain patents on devices generated using his neural network-based DABUS software. If you thought that whether an AI-generated output can be patented is a cutting-edge question, then consider whether an input to an AI system, such as a prompt to a large language model (LLM), can be patented.

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