SOFTWARE & IT Patents Team

 

The members of our Software and IT team draw upon their extensive industry experience in diverse fields and prosecute patents in all aspects of computer software and IT applications such as:

 

  • Internet

  • Data processing

  • Computer system architecture

  • Internet commerce

  • Location based services

  • Network security

  • Search engine technology

  • Data communication 

  • Social networking

  • Web services

  • Bioinformatics

  • Biometrics

  • Database systems

  • Electronic design automation

  • Smart phone applications

  • Cloud computing and applications

 

Our software and IT team comprising of patent attorneys, registered patent agents and patent associates work in tandem to helps international companies, domestic inventors and foreign law firms to secure their patent rights in India.

 

 

The Indian Patent Law

 

While the basic criteria for patentability viz. Novelty, Inventive Step and Industrial Applicability remains the same,  the relevant provision under the Indian Patent Law that governs patentability of software related innovations is Section 3(k) which specifically states that “computer program per se” is not a patentable subject matter. 

 

 

Indian Patent office released Draft Guidelines for Examination of Computer Related Inventions (CRI’s) in 2013 with a purpose to provide some clarity around patentability of computer related inventions. The guidelines advise Examiners to carefully consider how integrated novel hardware is with the software and emphasize that any general purpose known computer does not meet the requirements of the law and is not patentable unless there is some hardware associated with it. The guidelines also emphasize that the hardware portion has to be something more than a general-purpose machine.

 

 

Current Scenario in India

 

Indian position has been quite similar to EPO over the patentability of software related inventions. Unlike USPTO, India does not have a very liberal approach towards software patenting.

 

However, in a recent judgment (Intex Technologies (India) Ltd v. Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson),the Delhi High Court dismissed the arguments of the defendants on the count of the non-patentability of computer programmes under Sections 3(k). This case has laid a position of law regarding the patentability of software which is exact opposite to the draft guidelines. Justice Manmohan Singh in his order stated “thus, it […] appears to me prima facie that any invention which has a technical contribution or has a technical effect and is not merely a computer program per se […] and […] is patentable”.

 

Thus, the Act and the guidelines have clearly excluded “computer programmes per se” from the realm of patentable subject matter in India. However, in practice Indian Patent office has been granting patents to what would normally be perceived as software innovations. We therefore may say that the approach towards computer implemented inventions in India is somewhat closer to the position of EPO, where for a patent to be granted for a computer-implemented invention, a technical problem has to be solved in a novel and non-obvious manner.

 

Software/IT Industry

 

The Indian IT industry has witnessed tremendous growth in the past couple of decades, resulting in large IT companies and inceptions of several promising start-ups. Today India is home to some of the finest software companies in the world. The software companies in India are reputed across the globe for their efficient IT and business related solutions. 

 

  • The largest private sector employer in India

  • Bangalore continues to rule the software and IT hub followed by Hyderabad, Chennai, Delhi NCR, Pune, Kolkata, Chandigarh, Mohali and Mysore.

  • The IT industry accounts for 6 percent of India's GDP

  • Earned revenue of over US$ 109 bn during the Financial Year 2014

  • USA accounts for about 53% of the export revenue followed by the UK and Europe, with 15% and 10% respectively

  • At the end of Financial Year 2014, India's share in the global outsourcing market stood at 55%

  • Expected to maintain a growth of 13-15% in Financial Year 2015

  • Adopting the global delivery model and setting up development centers in Latin America, south East Asia and European countries.

 

 

Trends in IT patent filing and top IT companies

 

As per recent study maximum patents have been filed in data processing (31 per cent), computer system architecture (26 per cent), data communication work (17 per cent) and application of IT in other sectors (15 per cent).

 

  • Top Indian Applicants for Patents in field of IT 

 

- Tata Consultancy Services Limited

- Samsung R&D Institute India

- Infosys Limited

- Samsung India Software Operations Private Limited

- Wipro Limited

- Indian Institute of Technology (Collective)

 

  • Top Foreign Applicants for Patents in field of IT 

 

- Qualcomm Incorporated

- Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson

- Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd

- Sony Corporation

- Siemens Aktiengesellschaft 

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