The US Supreme Court refused to hear a challenge by computer scientist Stephen Thaler to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s refusal to issue patents for inventions his artificial intelligence system created. This was reported by Reuters.

The judges thus rejected the inventor’s appeal of a lower court ruling that patents could only be granted to human inventors and that his AI system could not be considered the legitimate creator of two inventions that Thaler said it created.

In the Supreme Court, the computer scientist stated that the refusal to issue relevant documents limits the possibilities of the patent system.

Thaler founded Imagination Engines Inc, an advanced artificial neural network technology company based in Saint Charles, Missouri. According to Thaler, his DABUS system, short for Device for the Autonomous Bootstrapping of Unified Sentience, created unique prototypes for a beverage holder and emergency light beacon entirely on its own. However, the USPTO rejected these patent applications on the grounds that DABUS is not human.

Last year, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which specializes in patent cases, supported these decisions. The court said that US patent law clearly requires that inventors be human.