In THALER v. PERLMUTTER, No. 1:22-cv-01564 (D.D.C. August 18, 2023), the owner of a computer that produced art via artificial intelligence (AI) was denied copyright registration based on the fact that the art was not generated by a human. The owner of the computer contended that since he owned the computer, the copyright registration should be in his name.

Thaler sued the U.S. Copyright Office in June 2022 following its denial of his application to register the AI-generated piece of art. Copyright law currently grants protection to original works created by human authors. The legal question of whether a work generated autonomously by a computer falls under the protection of copyright law upon its creation is an interesting and evolving legal issue around the concept of authorship. In this case, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia agreed with the Copyright Office and denied a request for summary judgment from the plaintiff based on the current legal interpretation of copyright authorship. Human authorship is an essential part of a valid copyright claim.

No information in this communication is intended to constitute specific legal advice.  For specific legal advice, please contact an attorney, and if you have any such questions or would like more information about this issue, please contact William “Pat” Huttenbach at 713.752.8616, or email at



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