Indian law on patentability of computer programmes is abundantly clear in that Section 3(k) of the Patents Act 1970 explicitly excludes computer programmes per se, mathematical methods and algorithms from patent protection. Moreover the recent Guidelines for Examination of Computer Related Inventions released by the Patent Office on February 19, 2016 ensure that patents are granted only to those inventions where a computer programme is claimed in conjunction with novel hardware. This eliminates the possibility of frivolous patents being granted in the field of software in India. However, recently it has come to light that the Regional Comprehensive Partnership Treaty (RCEP) presently being negotiated proposes a clause on patents in the area of computer programmes that will result in patents being granted in this field.
SFLC.in along with members of software industry, civil society, academia and other stakeholders, penned a joint letter to the Department of Commerce, Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion and the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade marks, expressing our concerns over the clauses contained in the RCEP. A copy of the joint letter is available here.