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India’s computer-related inventions policy should be revised: BSA

Nayela Deeba | Oct. 31, 2016
The current policy will impede India’s ability to innovate and nurture its technology industry, as well as discourage economic development and foreign direct investments.

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The Indian Government, under Prime Minister Modi, is embarking on innovative projects to beef up technology standards in India.

According to a press release by BSA | The Software Alliance (BSA) Modi is working towards advancing the role of technology in India's society, economy and governance. Such initiatives include Digital India and Start-up India.

While BSA supports such projects, it is worried about the current computer-related inventions (CRI) policy undermining innovation and deployment of such initiatives.

"The 2016 revised patent examination guidelines for CRI will prevent many software-enabled inventions from receiving patent protection in India because they require novel hardware - rather than the demonstration of a novel technical effect," Jared Ragland, Senior Director, Policy, BSA, explained

He added: "The ability to make existing hardware do new and important things is at the heart of the software revolution. Rejecting such patent applications will harm innovation in India, is contrary to the Patent Act, 1970, and is also inconsistent with India's international obligations and international practice. In their current form, the 2016 CRI guidelines will impede India's ability to innovate and nurture its technology industry and will discourage economic development and foreign direct investments."

BSA thus hopes that the government of India will reconsider its current position on CRI patentability.

"The patents framework in India needs to encourage a culture of investment in software innovation by ensuring appropriate legal protections. Startups in India can significantly benefit from the patent protection for CRI, as this allows innovators to protect their creations from unfair competition and can provided needed revenue streams through investment and licensing," Ragland said. 


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