Overview of Software Patenting

Overview of Software Patenting 1


The concept of “intellectual property” in India over the last few years of computer software has taken on a few epic proportions for several reasons. One of the number one motives, because of the growing attention of some of the city Indian population, is of the significance and, extra importantly, the commercial blessings in shielding its intellectual assets rights both within and out of doors India. Under traditional intellectual assets protection standards, patent law is to encourage clinical research, new technology & computer software, and commercial development. The patent law’s essential principle is that the patent is granted handiest for an invention i.E. New and useful, the stated intention has to have novelty and software. The provisions of patent accordingly become of business belongings and additionally known as intellectual assets. And the computer software program is a distinctly new recipient of patent safety.


The term “Patent” has its foundation of computer software from the term “Letter Patent”. This expression ‘Letter Patent’ meant open letter and had been gadgets beneath the Great Seal of King of England addressed by the Crown to all of the topics at large. The Crown conferred certain rights and privileges on one or extra people inside the nation. It becomes the later part of the nineteenth-century innovations inside the subject of art, procedure, approach or manner of manufacture, equipment and different materials produced via producers have been extended. The inventors have become very a great deal involved that the inventions did use them have to be now not infringed using any person else by copying them or adopting the strategies they utilize. To store inventors’ interests, the then British rulers enacted the Indian Patents and Design Act, 1911.


With recognize of the patentability of software program-related inventions, it’s miles currently one of the maximum heated regions of discussion. The software has emerged as patentable in the latest years in maximum jurisdictions (even though with regulations in certain international locations, drastically those signatories of the European Patent Convention or EPC), and the range of software program patents has risen hastily.


The time period “software program” does no longer has a particular definition, and even the software program industries fail to give a unique definition. But it is basically used to describe all of the specific styles of laptop packages. Computer programs are basically divided into “application packages” and “working gadget applications.” Application packages are designed to do specific obligations to be accomplished through the computer. The running machine packages are used to control the inner functions of the pc to facilitate the use of application software.

Though the time period ‘Software patent’ does now not have a universally common definition. One definition advised by the Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure is that a software program patent is a “patent on any performance of a pc found out using a pc program”.According to Richard Stallman, the co-developer of the GNU-Linux working gadget and proponent of Free Software says, “Software patents are patents which cover software program thoughts, ideas that you might use in developing the software program. Software patents confer with patents that would be granted on products or processes (including techniques) that consist of or may consist of software as a considerable or as a minimum important part of their implementation, i.E. The form in which they may be installed exercises (or used) to provide the impact they intend to provide.

An early instance of a software program patent:

On 21st Sep 1962, a British patent software entitled “A Computer Arranged for the Automatic Solution of Linear Programming Problems” changed the file. The invention becomes worried with efficient reminiscence control for the simplex set of rules and may be applied via basically software approach. On August 17, 1966, the patent was granted and seemed to be one of the first software patents.



The software has traditionally been included under copyright law because it fits pretty easily into the outline of literary paintings. Thus, Software is covered as works of literature beneath the Berne Convention, and any software written is mechanically covered by using copyright. This lets the creator prevent another entity from copying the program, and there may generally be no need to register code to be copyrighted. At the same time, Software Patenting has recently emerged (if handiest in the US, Japan, and Europe). Patents supply their proprietors the right to prevent others from using a claimed invention, even if it was independently evolved and there has been no copying concerned.

Further, it ought to be stated that patents cowl the underlying methodologies embodied in a given piece of software. On the alternative, copyright prevents the direct copying of software programs but no longer prevents other authors from writing their own embodiments of the underlying methodologies. However, the troubles worried about conferring patent rights to software programs are more complex than removing copyrights. Specifically, there are two challenges that one encounters when coping with software patents. The first is the patent itself’s the tool itself and whether or not the protection it confers is suitable to the software enterprise. The second is the nature of software and whether it should be subject to patenting.

However, troubles involved in conferring patent rights to software programs are more complex than casting off copyrights on them. Specifically, there are two challenges that one encounters while dealing with software program patents. The first is ready the patent itself and whether or not the way of protection it confers is perfect to the software program industry. The second is the character of software and whether it needs to be a concern to patenting.

A) Different Subject Matters

Copyright safety extends to all unique literary works (pc applications), dramatic, musical, and inventive works, including movies. Under copyright, safety is given most effective to the precise expression of a concept that turned into followed and not the concept itself. (For example, a program to feature numbers written in special laptop languages could count number as unique expressions of 1 concept) Effectively, unbiased rendering of a copyrighted work using a third birthday party would now not infringe the copyright. Generally, patents are conferred on any ‘new’ and ‘useful’ art, method, method, or manner of manufacture, machines, appliances, or other articles or substances produced by way of manufacture. Worldwide, the mindset towards patentability of the software program has been skeptical.

B) Who may also declare the right to a patent /copyright?

Generally, the writer of literary, inventive, musical, or dramatic paintings robotically will become the owner of its copyright. The patent, then again, is granted to the first to use it, irrespective of who the first to invent it become. Patents price plenty of money. They cost even more paying the attorneys to write down the utility than they fee to observe. It generally takes a few years for the software to consider, even though patent workplaces do an incredibly sloppy task of thinking about it.

patentingC) Rights conferred

Copyright law gives the proprietor the one-of-a-kind proper to breed the cloth, issue copies, carry out, adapt and translate the paintings. However, these rights are tempered using the rights of truthful use, which are available to the general public. Under “fair use,” positive uses of copyright fabric might now not be infringing, together with use for educational functions, news reporting, and many others. Further, the independent pastime of copyrighted paintings would no longer constitute infringement. Thus if the identical piece of code has been independently evolved through two one-of-a-kind businesses, neither would have a claim in opposition to the opposite.

A patent confers an absolute monopoly on the proprietor, which is the proper to save you others from making, the use of, imparting for sale without his/her consent. In well-known, patent protection is a miles more potent technique of protection than copyright due to the fact the protection extends to the extent of the concept embodied with the aid of software and injuncts ancillary makes use of-of an invention as properly. It could weaken copyright in software programs. This is the bottom of all European software improvement because unbiased creations protected via copyright could be attackable using patents: many patent programs cowl minimal, and particular algorithms or strategies are used in a huge sort of applications. Frequently the “innovations” mentioned in a patent software were independently formulated and are already in use through different programmers when the software is filed.

D) Duration of safety

The TRIPS settlement mandates a length of a minimum of two decades for a product patent and 15 years within the case of a system patent. For Copyright, the settlement prescribes a minimal period of the lifetime of the writer plus seventy years.


Substantive regulation regarding the patentability of software and pc-implemented innovations and case regulation decoding the felony provisions are specific beneath unique jurisdictions.

  • Software patents below multilateral treaties:
  • o Software patents below TRIPs Agreement
  • o Software patents under the European Patent Convention
  • o Computer applications and the Patent Cooperation Treaty
  • Software patenting beneath TRIPs Agreement

The WTO’s Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs), mainly Article 27, is difficult to discuss the international felony framework for the software program’s patentability and on whether or not software and pc-applied inventions have to be considered as an area of generation. According to Art. 27 of TRIPS Agreement, patents will be had for any inventions, whether merchandise or strategies, in all fields of generation, supplied that they may be new, involve a resourceful step, and can business application. (…) patents shall be to be had and patent rights exciting without discrimination as to the vicinity of an invention, the field of generation and whether the merchandise is imported or locally produced.” However, there had been no dispute settlement processes regarding software program patents. Its relevance for patentability in the laptop-applied business techniques and software program statistics era remains uncertain because TRIPs settlement is the interpretation problem.

Read Previous

Importance of Software Testing

Read Next

Where to Find Beat Making Software