02.22.16

It’s Official: Death of Software Patents Reaffirmed in India

Posted in Asia, Law, Patents at 7:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

No sane population (i.e. people insufficiently indoctrinated by maximalists) should tolerate software patents

Indian monuments

Summary: India has once again managed to steer public policy in the right direction, but only after immense pressure from the public

SEVERAL months ago there were new and well-founded fears that the software patents lobby (IBM, Microsoft and so on) was again making headway in India. They nearly got their way again, but the public woke up, NGOs spoke out, and the government came under pressure which soon thereafter temporarily blocked this silly initiative (similar to recent efforts of Facebook in India). If this isn’t People Power at work, then it sure is something that the Western populations can learn from and emulate, e.g. when mobilising against TPP, TTIP, UPC, etc. For those who haven’t been following these developments, this Wiki page can help (chronological list of articles on the topic).

“Software patents in India have always been like a zombie that keeps trying to come back to life because megacorporations (usually foreign) lobby for that.”This morning we found the English article “India’s patent office says no to software patents, again”. It claims that “India’s apex patent office has said no to software patents in the guidelines for examining computer-related inventions, which were published on 19 February.”

Another article, this one coming from a legal site, says: “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).”

This is great news. Software patents in India have always been like a zombie that keeps trying to come back to life because megacorporations (usually foreign) lobby for that. They still can’t quite colonise the country by legislation. Anivar, a longtime supporter of ours (nearly a decade) from India, writes: “New Software patent guidelines follow the spirit of Indian patent law 3(k) clause.” (he moreover links to the original PDF, which is in English). In the US, in the mean time, software patents are getting a lot weaker. Europe and New Zealand are under enough pressure from the public to prevent them — at least for now — from formally tolerating software patents (more on that later today).

This week has begun with a lot of good news on the patent front. Stay tuned.

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