India’s GDP is a function of its export of Information Technology to the Western world, let us acknowledge it far and loud, for once. There are brilliant codes written, genius software developed, in large numbers, literally every day. Tonnes of money is spent on the research and development of each of this software and hence, there is a major need to safeguard these intellectual properties – yes, they are that! – which drive India’s growth in more ways than one.
In this article, we look at protecting the intellectual rights of a software, a much-underrated entity although it makes for some of the highest copyright infringements.
Computer-related inventions can be really tricky. Firstly, you have to describe the invention very cleanly such that it makes sense and that, let me say, is not an easy job, especially when it relates to computers and software – areas not easily comprehensible to laypersons.
It is still easy to define the functionality that is required by the customer, and if you have the required coding skills, you can even build a programme that fulfills the desired functionality, but – and there is a big but here – the area that has to be protected by a patent lies somewhere in between. It lies midway between the functionality that is desired and the code that is written to achieve it. This makes defining it all very difficult, especially for those who are new to the area of patenting.
“How to patent a software” is a hot question amongst many tech entrepreneurs in India, and in this day and age, when our country is undergoing a major entrepreneurial boom, we need a convincing answer to that question.
To put it in simple words, a software can be patented in India but it might not always be permitted.
Where Does India Stand On Patenting Software
In India, there was a clause proposed to include software patents way back in 2005 but the honorable Parliament of India rejected it. A common argument given in this regard is that software patenting form for minor inventions. So, as the argument goes, an invention that can be easily and individually replicated by many others should not be granted since it will only work to decelerate the progress of the field concerned.