The appeal court ruled against Stephen Thaler, creator of a system called Dabus, who took a case against the UK's Intellectual Property Office (IPO) which refused patents to his AI.
Mr Thaler filed two patent applications in 2018, one for a type of food container and one for a flashing light. But he did not list himself as the inventor.
Instead, he chose to list Dabus, arguing that he should be granted the patent, "by ownership of the creativity machine" - while making clear that Dabus, not he, was the inventor.
The IPO told Mr Thaler he needed to list a real person as the inventor - something he did not do, and the IPO decided that the application had been withdrawn.
"Only a person can have rights. A machine cannot," wrote Lady Justice Elisabeth Laing in her judgement. "A patent is a statutory right and it can only be granted to a person."
Lord Justice Arnold, agreeing, wrote: "In my judgement it is clear that, upon a systematic interpretation of the 1977 Act, only a person can be an 'inventor'."