02.28.17

IAM Just Can’t Stop Pushing for Software Patents in India

Posted in Asia, IBM, Patents at 7:57 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

I-AM lobbyist

Mumbai

Summary: The shaming tactics against India, which come from many directions (notably front groups in the West), still try hard to convince Indians to shoot themselves in the foot and allow foreign companies to privatise algorithms

IT HAS barely been two months since IAM last did this and here they go again, pushing for patent maximalism in India as if a bunch of writers in London area (lawyers’ capital) can offer sound advice to Indians who were, for a long time, colonised by the British Empire.

“As a reminder, India does not permit software patenting and it should keep it that way to combat digital colonialism.”The latest approach of this IAM lobbying is already familiar. Microsoft’s ‘puppet’ Tata (TCS) is obsessed with — and lobbies for — software patents [1, 2], so IAM now uses it as a poster child, as if the number of patents assigned to oneself is an indicator of “success” in its own right. The lobbyists (in “writer” or “journalist” clothing) from IAM basically try to shame Indian companies that don’t waste their time and money on software patents. Such is the case with Infosys, so IAM frames it like this in the headline: “It’s clear that Tata gets the importance of IP, but it is one of the few Indian businesses which does” (how loaded a headline, “importance of IP”).

Putting aside the fact that patents and “IP” are not the same thing (trademarks, for example, are entirely separable), watch what they say:

Even more notable, though, is the absence of Indian companies among the lists of big patent filers, not only in key foreign markets, but also at home. Clearly, Tata does see the benefits that patents and other forms of IP bring, but right now it is one of the few Indian entities that does. If the Americans appreciate the resources that India can bring to the table, surely business leaders based in the country – as well as its government and other decision-making authorities – must too. A talent drain may suit Silicon Valley, but it cannot be in India’s best interests. It’s hard to believe that persuading the country’s brightest scientific, engineering and computing stars that they are best off working at home for local businesses will not bear substantial fruit further down the line. Just ask Tata and its CTO.

It means that the patent system in India now exists mostly for foreigners — a fact which we remarked on before. This also mentions IBM, which keeps lobbying for software patents in India in order to better occupy/control/dominate India.

As a reminder, India does not permit software patenting and it should keep it that way to combat digital colonialism. When it comes to software, India can do just fine on its own. It has some of the world’s brightest developers and it employs many millions of software professionals.

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