Shall I patent my software?

A patent grants the inventor an exclusive right to commercially exploit an invention for a limited period, in lieu of inventor making it available to general public.
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Software Patent
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Uttar Pradesh - India

March 24, 2008 - PRLog -- What Is Patent?
In layman’s language a patent protects an invention.
However, the law across the globe requires that in order to be patentable, an invention must be:

a.   Novel or New
b.   Involving a technical step, and
c.   Capable of industrial application.

A patent grants the inventor an exclusive right to commercially exploit an invention for a limited period, in lieu of inventor making it available to general public.

Mr. Rajeev Mishra, Legal Executive, Rupiz Infotech Comments:
“Indian Law should be more flexible in permitting software patenting. Amending the Patent Act will result in value addition for small IT companies, by promoting research and development.”

What Is Software?
Software can be described as a set of computer instructions, written in a particular sequence to achieve an intended result through the computer.

Software has been instrumental in growth of each and every field, be it science, mathematics, industry, art, literature. Its impact can now be felt in every aspect of our lives, so it is hard to ignore its significance. Companies across the globe invest a considerable amount of money into new projects involving software.

Is Software Patenting Allowed?
Global position is inconsistent on patenting software (Computer Programs). In USA, patenting a software is as easy as getting a patent for a peanut butter (Yes, United States Patent and Trademark Office, USPTO, has granted a patent for that too).

In Japan also, patenting of software is readily done. In Europe the law is still in developing stage, and has created a chaos in absence of uniformity in different approaches taken by different countries and their courts. Uniformity however, can not be delayed, seeing the spurt in growth of Corporate and Individual interest.  We will soon be able to see a uniform position in European Union.

In India, Law has taken its own course, from a “for” to “against” direction. From the days of Patents and Designs Act, 1911, when there was no such provision of Patenting a Software to current law of Section 3 of Indian Patent Act, 1970 (as amended in 2002), where it expressly bars the Patenting of Software Programmes per se, we can see a step ahead approach but an approach making less business sense for Indian Corporate Sector.

An Ordinance was promulgated on December 27, 2004, increasing the scope of software patenting. However, due to political pressure the debatable provision of Controversial Bill was dropped.

The amended provision that could have rewritten the provision prohibiting patenting of software program was: “a computer programme per se other than its technical application to industry or a combination with hardware; a mathematical method or a business method or algorithms;”

In India, current position is again back to stage where software can not be patented, unless drafted in a manner that may pass the scrutiny of Patent Examiner.

Until we see uniformity in the current standards across the globe, interested parties will keep looking for alternative means to protect their Software.

For more info, contact us-

Rupiz Infotech,
H-23, Sector-63, Noida-201301, UP
Telephone: +91-120-4216960-68

Email:Contact Author
Tags:Software Patent, Legal Issues
Location:Uttar Pradesh - India
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