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Indian Patent Office’s U-turn on software patents


Abhishek Pandurangi

Indian Patent Office’s U-turn on software patents

isak55 / Shutterstock.com

The revised guidelines on computer-related inventions by the Indian Patent Office imply a reversed position on whether software inventions should be patentable. Abhishek Pandurangi of Khurana & Khurana reports.

After the Indian Patent Office (IPO) published the first set of guidelines for examining patents for computer-related inventions in August, in February the office introduced an amended set of rules.

While the previous guidelines were kept in abeyance in response to strong protests by critics, a revision was expected, but surprisingly the IPO has replaced an excessively liberal set of guidelines indicating that any software is patentable with a contrary one which almost indicates that no software patents are allowed.

Among other deviations, while the previous guidelines gave several examples of software and quasi-business method claims that were acceptable—some of them inconceivably broad—the present guidelines do not offer a single patentable example. Below is an example in the previous guidelines which led to raised eyebrows across the industry: 

Abhishek Pandurangi, Khurana & Khurana, India Patent Office, Alice Corp v CLS Bank, patent, software patent, Patent Act, Ericsson,


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