Friday, August 27, 2004

India Breaches Arrythmia and Alappat: Innovators in IT can rejoice. Even as software per se would continue to be outside the purview of patenting, embedded software as well as software/hardware combinations would qualify for patents, if they fulfil specified novelty conditions. That is, certain applications of software that have hardware elements can be patented.

The clarification is among a host of changes the UPA government has made in the patent amendment bill, originally drafted by the previous NDA government. Another major amendment in the re-drafted bill relates to protection of biological resources from unfair patenting. Disclosure of the origin of materials like plants, animals and micro-organisms would now be a mandatory pre-requisite for patents of inventions using such material or associated knowledge.

In the patent application, the disclosure has to be made upfront. Absence of the disclosure can be held as reason for opposition to or rejection or revocation of a patent, it has been freshly clarified. India is the first country to make such disclosure mandatory, officials said. The aim is to avoid usurpation of traditional knowledge and unfair patenting by use of such usurped knowledge.

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