The number of applications for patents filed in the software sector has seen a huge increase in the last two years. Recent changes in the patents law have made this possible, as evident in 2,000 applications being filed in the last one year alone. The number of applications was as many between 2000-2003.
The number of patents granted has also shot up from 110 between 2000-03, to about 600 in 2004. In 2005, about 1,100 patent applications are awaiting opposition proceedings.
Recent changes made in the Indian patents law allow patents for computer-related inventions like applied software —software used in cars, washing machines and music systems. Till recently, only embedded software—where software is intrinsically linked with hardware — was allowed patents.
The pace is likely to pick up even more in the coming year with more and more MNCs setting up research labs in India.
(source : Business Standard, January 4, 2006)