Meeting with Director General of Patents

Yesterday, Rushabh and I met with the Director General of Patents in Mumbai and presented him with the findings of a study that we had requested Software Freedom Law Center ( to do. Despite Section 3(k) of the Indian Patent Act saying that “Mathematics, business methods, computer programs per se and algorithms” are not patentable subject matter, we saw that a number of software patents were being granted. The SFLC report found that software patents are being granted in violation of 3(k). Most of these patents are going to MNCs though the proportion of Indians has been increasing in recent years

Software patenting in India has been a long and torturous battle and the SFLC research does a very good job of capturing its legislative history. The FOSS community is against software patents because it goes against our freedom to write, distribute and modify code. Patents are a state granted monopoly for an invention and usually last for around 20 years. Software developers who are hit with patent litigation end up paying expensive legal fees and dealing with business uncertainty.

Stallman’s views on software patents are below:

An old article I had written on software patents is also linked below:

We pointed out to the Director General and his team the fact that the discussions in the Indian Parliament during the Patent Amendments 2005 clearly indicated that even embedded software was not meant to be patented. One suggestion proposed by the patent office was that we file pre-grant opposition to patent applications, and this is something that we intend to do. The Patent Office will study our submission, but we are gearing up for a tough fight ahead because we are up against MNCs who have deep pockets, abundant legal firepower and billions of dollars to gain through software patenting. If any member of this forum is interested in volunteering for our software patents working group, kindly reach out to me at The SFLC report will be shared in a few days after editing.