Software patents kills innovation
The Free Software Movement of India (FSMI) has alleged that the new Guidelines for Examination of Computer Related Inventions are illogical. It argues that they violate the spirit and law contained in the amended Patents Act of 1970 and could pose a grave threat to innovation in our country.
It cautioned that permitting software patents through the backdoor would severely restrict the innovative capabilities and would adversely impact the creative and entrepreneurial spirit of the youth in the country.
FSMI General Secretary Y Kiran Chandra said that these norms could lead to monopoly and massively enhance costs for the young entrepreneurs.
The association asked the Patent Office to immediately amend the guidelines to keep the spirit of the Patents Act. “We appeal to programmers, entrepreneurs and other stakeholders to raise their voices against the moves to restrict innovation,” Prabir Purkayastha, Vice-President of FSMI, said.
The new guidelines, released by the Indian Patent Office last month, enhance the scope of patentability of software by permitting applicants to merely show innovation in the software portion of their application, rather than in both software and hardware, as required previously.
“The Guidelines also increase the scope of patenting for mathematical and business models, thereby indirectly permitting software to be patented (for instance methods of encoding /decoding),” Kiran Chandra said.