Things You Should Know About Software Patents in India

Software Patents
A yellow warning sign with the text "Software Patents" against a blue sky.

Software patents basically allows companies or individuals to claim exclusive claim over their inventions and prevents anyone from copying it. Everywhere around the world, software patents are controversial because a lot of litigations are filed in this respect which costs the legal departments and the governments billions of dollars. Since many software developers regards patents as something that ties their hands, they resist it. But in recent times some famous patents include Google’s ranking algorithm and Amazon’s one-click shopping on its platform. 

Software Patents in India

Since patents have always been controversial and judiciary across the world have always struggled to draw a line of distinction in establishing clear conventions with regards to software inventions, there are things that you keep in mind about registration Software Patents in India.

  1. Software patents are controversial:

As we have already mentioned that software patents are highly controversial. Thousands are lawsuits are filed every year in this field. So make sure you steer clear of the legal complications when you are applying for a software patent. The chances are high that some individual or company will challenge your right in a court of law. So be prepared. 

2. What is a software patent after all?

Do not confuse software patent with software copyright. Both offers protection to the product, but in case of copyright it only protects the expression of an idea. For instance, it may only protect the programming code of a software. It is important to note here that both software copyright and patent are part of large intellectual property. 

3. Software patenting in India:

The Patent Act 1970 clearly prohibits patenting of software in India in isolation. But software in India can be patented as part of a computer related innovation. The computer function MUST BE related wholly or partially to a software that needs to be patented. 

4. Most software patents get rejected in India:

Know this and know this well. Most patent request for software get rejected in India since the Indian Patent Act 1970 reads “mathematical or business method or a computer program per se or algorithms” does not fall under the items which can be patented in India and that is why patent offices in India rejects most software patent requests. 

5. So what’s the trick to patent a software in India?

The trick is not to patent the software in the first place. As we have already mentioned patent the whole program which the software is an integral part of. This way, although you are patenting a whole computer program, the patent would also extend to the software as well. So this is how you work around the law. 

6. Steps to claim software patent in India:

Here are the key steps in brief to claim for software patent in India:

  • You must go about your innovation in a problem – solution approach
  • Make flow charts which covers all aspects of your innovation
  • Also prepare system architecture which shows all the hardware elements connect through a network
  • Draft patent claim covering all aspect of the system architecture