Ritvik M. Kulkarni
A patent application for facebook’s crawler software was rejected by the Indian Patent Office. The program is a tool used to search the internet for media files to create and refine search entries
It stated that since the claims lacked inventiveness, the application was refused under Sections 2(1)(j), 3(k) and 10(4) of the Patents At, 1970. In order to obtain a patent on software, the Act requires that the said software be an internal part / aspect of the hardware itself. Facebook’s application in the did not satisfy the aforesaid requirement.
V Saravanan, the Assistant Controller of Patents, the shortcomings in the claims in relation to the hardware implied that the innovation was solely in the algorithm or software; it could be used through any other computer hardware as well. He said, ““Thus from the claims, it is understood that mere computer programming instructions/ software performed by the processor are being claimed in the form of method steps and, hence, the method claim is not allowed under section 3(k) of the Patents Act,”. (source The Financial Express)