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Defender of your Digital Freedom

In India, as per the Patents Act, 1970 “computer programme per se” is not patentable subject matter. However, it is seen that over 1000 software patent applications are filed before the Indian Patent Office each year, of which about 100 patents are granted despite their specific exclusion from patentability. Moreover, almost all of these patents are granted to multi-national corporations as opposed to smaller domestic developers. This is a dangerous phenomenon that makes writing computer programmes a risky proposition, as developers could be sued for infringement by corporations holding software patents, which in turn could seriously impede the growth of the software industry in India and place shackles on the freedom to innovate. We consider opposing software patents, which are irregularly granted against the intent of the legislature, to be a primary item in our agenda. We also work with law and policy makers to restrict the irregular grant of software patents, and to bring patent examination procedures in line with the law.

Posts

From the archives- Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co Patent Dispute

ROTTEN APPLE SUES JUICY PEAR     THE INNOVATORS   THE PATENT LAWYERS   PATENTS AND THE DEATH OF INNOVATION This Comic Strip on “Apple v. Samsung Patent Dispute” was conceptualized & designed by Yashaswini Prasad and Kabir Darshan Singh Choudhary. [2013]  This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. 

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Revised CRI Guidelines – Ambiguity replaces certainty

The Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks has published the modified Guidelines for Examination of Computer Related Inventions (CRIs) by office order dated 30-6-2017. The revised Guidelines have done away with the three-stage test to determine patentability of CRIs. This section was intended to provide the examiners a clear method to examine patent applications. The Guidelines […]

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Don’t listen to the IT giants: Eben Moglen

The Indian government has rightly rested its Digital India initiative on a series of measures to liberalise the economy. One of those measures of free-market wisdom, however, the usual government-cheering section suddenly seems to be irrationally against. The PMO will be receiving from the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) on April 30 a […]

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Comments on DIPP Discussion Paper on Standard Essential Patents and Their Availability on FRAND Terms

Following a sudden surge in IPR litigation surrounding Standard Essential Patents (SEPs) in the last year, (around eight suits were filed by Swedish multi-national Ericsson alone, another three by Vringo Infrastructure. Read more here) the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) recently released a “Discussion Paper on Standard Essential Patents and Their Availability on […]

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Joint letter to the Department of Commerce expressing concerns over software-patent-friendly clauses in the RCEP

Indian law on patentability of computer programmes is abundantly clear in that Section 3(k) of the Patents Act 1970 explicitly excludes computer programmesper se, mathematical methods and algorithms from patent protection. Moreover the recent Guidelines for Examination of Computer Related Inventions released by the Patent Office on February 19, 2016 ensure that patents are granted […]

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A quick history of CRI Guidelines in India

On February 19 2016 the Office of Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade marks (Indian Patent Office or IPO) issued a revised set of Guidelines for Examination of Computer-Related Inventions (‘CRI Guidelines)’. The Guidelines come two months after the previous CRI Guidelines, released on 21 August 2015, were put in abeyance following severe criticism […]

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Press Release: Indian Patent Office Says No to Software Patents

The Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks has issued an order dated February 19, 2016 publishing the revised Guidelines for Computer Related Inventions. The current guidelines are in tune with the provisions in the Patents Act, 1970 (as amended). Section 3(k) of the Patents Act that was included by an amendment in 2002 excludes […]

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SFLC.in At Global IP Congress 2015

SFLC.in was represented on two of the panels on Global IP Congress 2015 held at National Law School, New Delhi between 15th and 17th of December 2015. Panel on Collaborative Innovations – 16 December 2015 The diverse panel that represented the publishing industry, free software industry and Wikipedia as the knowledge repository, began with talking […]

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CRI Guidelines kept in abeyance – #NoSoftwarePatents

On 14th December 2015, the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks, Mr. Om Prakash Gupta, ordered that the recently released 2015 “Guidelines for Examination of Computer Related Inventions (CRIs)” shall be kept in abeyance till discussions with stakeholders are completed and contentious issues with respect to the 2015 Guidelines are resolved (order available here). […]

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International Conference on Evolving Regime in Intellectual Property Protection held at JNU Convention Centre, 2-4 Nov’15

On 3rd November 2015, SFLC.in participated in a panel on Intellectual Property Enforcement at the International Conference on Evolving Regime on Intellectual Property, where we spoke about the recent litigation around Standard Essential Patents in India and the difference in approaches adopted by courts in Europe, USA and in India. A presentation on the SEP […]

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Infographic: Timeline of Software Patent Law in India

Though computer programs per se are excluded from patentability as per Section 3(k) of the Patents Act, 1970, the “Guidelines for Examination of Computer Related Inventions” issued by the Indian Patent Office in August 2015 is expected to change this to a large extent (read more here). Below is an infographic that outlines the evolution […]

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New patent guidelines may spell trouble for Indian software developers

Every city or town, big or small, is seeing a spurt of startups that do path-breaking work in the area of software products, mobile apps and embedded products. However, these firms could soon be threatened by the dark-clouds looming large over the technology horizon of India in the form of software patents. Section 3(k) of […]

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Events

SFLC.in At Global IP Congress 2015

SFLC.in was represented on two of the panels on Global IP Congress 2015 held at National Law School, New Delhi between 15th and 17th of December 2015. Panel on Collaborative Innovations – 16 December 2015 The diverse panel that represented the publishing industry, free software industry and Wikipedia as the knowledge repository, began with talking […]

First Asian Legal Network Round Table on Free and Open Source Software

SFLC.IN in collaboration with Open Invention Network (OIN) is organising the First Asian Legal Network (ALN) round-table on ‘Free and Open Source Software’ at ‘The Oberoi Hotel, Bangalore’ on Tuesday, January 13th, 2015 from 12.00pm to 5.30pm. The round table plans to to bring high level professionals together and to provide a forum for informed […]