Saturday, July 23, 2011

Software Patent Trolls In India

Patent trolls are people or organisation that acquires a patent with the primary objective of non use of the same. Their main objective is to get maximum commercial benefit through licensing mechanism. They also intend to sue others for patent infringement and derive monetary benefits through compensation for the alleged patent infringement.

Software developers in US are frequently targeted by such patent trolls through cease and desist orders by alleging patent infringement. So bad has become the situation that software developers in US have threatened to leave US unless they are duly protected from such trolls.

So what is the position regarding the same in India. Patent Trolls and their Regulations in India is well founded says Praveen Dalal, managing partner of New Delhi based IP and ICT law firm Perry4Law. Indian Patents Act 1970 “Prohibits” Unfair Trade Practices of Hoarding a Patent by not using the same and hindering its availability to general public, informs Dalal

If a cease and desist order is issued in respect of such a “Hoarded Patent”, the very grant of Patent can be challenged. This is sufficient “Deterrent” for Patent Trolls operating in India, opines Dalal.

It seems Indian patent law is well founded to protect software developers as software is not a patentable product or process in India. If something cannot be patented in India, there are practically no chances of its violation in India hence there cannot be any litigation as well.

So the chances of software patent trolls to flourish in India are not much provided people are aware of the intellectual property rights (IPRs) laws of India, especially the patent law of India.