Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Software Patents In India And Their Registrability

Patent Law of India is well established. For a considerable long period of time it was primarily based upon Indian Socio Economic conditions. With the signing of Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement, Indian Patent Act, 1970 was also amended accordingly. One major change was allowing Product Patents for Patentable Pharmaceuticals in India.

After India signed the TRIPS Agreement, an Ordinance to bring necessary changes in the Patent Law of India was passed. The Ordinance also incorporated a provision that allowed granting of Software related Patents. In fact, on the basis of such Ordinance, many Software related Patents were granted by the Patent Office of India.

While the Patents Ordinance had allowed such Patenting, the final Patent Amendment Bill passed in Parliament of India in this regard dropped the clause that allowed Patenting of Software-related inventions. So as on date, granting of Patent for Software per se is not allowed in India.

However, this has not deterred the Software patent Trolls in India from claiming Patent Rights in the same. This is happening because there is a general lack of awareness about Patent Trolls and their Regulations in India. Thankfully, the mainstream press is turning against such Software Patents and their Trolling exercises.

India is not granting any Software Patent per se as per its Laws and any person or institution claming the same is not entitled to any such protection in India. Any Software Patent infringement claim must be thoroughly analysed and fiercely fought against at all appropriate forums in India.