The Indian Patent Office has again issued guidelines on examination of computer-related inventions (CRIs) such as software programmes.
The aim of this document is to provide guidelines for the examination of patent applications in the field of CRIs by the Indian Patent Office so as to further foster uniformity and consistency in the examination of such applications.
“The objective of this document is to bring out clarity in terms of exclusions expected under section 3(k) so that eligible applications of patents relating to CRIs can be examined speedily,” the guidelines said.
According to the Section 3(k) of the Indian Patents Act, a mathematical or business method or a computer programme per se or algorithms are not inventions. Various representations have been received regarding these guidelines which were first published in August 2015. Associations strongly opposed them, saying the norms were detrimental to the domestic IT sector.
The guidelines were then put in abeyance and re-issued in February last year. But associations again raised issues, after which an expert committee was set up to look into them.
“After taking all the views into consideration, the guidelines for examination of CRI have been streamlined,” the committee said.