The Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks (CGPDT) has issued an order excluding software patents in its revised guidelines for Computer Related Inventions (CRIs).
The new order clearly mentions that, mere computer programmes those not in conjunction with a novel hardware will not be granted patent in India.
The new guidelines
- Follow CGPDT’s stay on the revised guidelines issued in August 2015 which have allowed the patenting of software which demonstrated technical advancement and did not clarify it.
- Have been aligned to the Patents Act, 1970 and brings out clarity in terms of exclusions expected under sub-section 3(k) of the Act.
Earlier, CGPDTM had agreed with a Parliamentary Panel which had observed that computer programmes as such are not intended to be granted patent as per Patents Act, 1970. The sub-section 3(k) of Act mentions that mathematical methods or business methods or computer programme or algorithms are not patentable.
Implication of these guidelines: Software developers and start-ups will continue to have the freedom to innovate without worrying infringement notices in Computer Related Inventions area.
Note: The Office of Controller General of Patents, Designs & Trade Marks (CGPDTM) under the aegis of Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry is nodal agency that supervises the working of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) laws in India.