Software patent in India: A comparative judicial and empirical overview

The question of software patent and its patentability was discussed in June, 2014 by the Supreme Court of the United States of America (USA) in the case of Alice Corporation v CLS Bank International. It has become necessary to view the issue of software patent in a new light as it is observed that there is greater ambivalence in the law and practice of granting patent to computer implemented inventions. Considering the significant role played by the Indian software industry in contributing to the growth of the Indian economy and putting India on the global map, it is necessary to ensure that the patent system can adapt to and assimilate new, innovative technologies for the growth and development of software industry. The patent system should be capable of handling them in a rapidly advanced way, and must not shut them out. The data relating to number of patent applications filed and granted in the field of computer technology in countries like the US, Canada, European Countries and India shows that there are variations in approaches towards patentability of software. Diverse approaches are creating differences in opinions about patenting of software, thereby leading to software patent war. The current patent war in software industry has created issues of protection of technology, enforcement and growth of the industry. This article throws light on the issues related with software patent. It also discusses the various cases in U.S. The article attempts to understand the status of patent law and practice relating to computer related inventions India, Canada and EPO.

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