Legal Service India - Business Method Patents
law  in India

Business Method Patents

Written by: Jaideep Kharub - IP Officer - AGIP, Manama, Bahrain
click here for LIVE help-desk
Chat with us  (2 PM - 9 PM IST)
Legal Advice | Find a lawyer | Constitutional law | Judgments | forms | PIL | family law | Cyber Law | Law Forum | Income-Tax | Consumer laws | Company laws
Search On:laws in IndiaLawyers Search

Copyright Online in India
Right from your Desktop - Ph no: 9891244487

Home \ Patent Law

Articles | Articles 2014 | Articles 2013 | Articles 2012 | Articles 2011 | Articles 2010 | Articles 2009 | Articles 2008 | Articles 2007 | Articles 2006 | 2000-05

An invention which is a solution to a technical problem is protected by way of Patent. This protection is available for specified period (usually 20 years) during which the patentee holds certain exclusive rights with regard to exploitation of his invention. In return, the patent holder is obliged to publicly disclose his invention which adds into the technical knowledge bank of the world. The aim of granting patent protection is to encourage economic & scientific development by rewarding the inventor for his intellectual creations.

Business Method Patents are a special category of patents which are granted for an innovative way of doing business. The methods or process which can be patented under this category includes teaching methods, sales skills, financial services, investment services and marketing & advertising methods etc. Even skills for playing a game may be protected by way of Business Method Patents. Most of these patents are implemented by way of computers. Before 1998 patent protection was not available to business methods; however the decision of Court of Appeals for Federal Circuit (U.S.) in State Street Bank Case completely changed the situation.

Between 1998 to present, the business method patent applications have increased significantly. From their beginning, business method patents are always in controversy to their subject matter. The issue is not confined to United States only but to major economies of the world. The Two major views came out of this controversy, one is against issuing patent protection to the subject matter (European Commission’s position) and second is advocating for business method patents (i.e. United States’ Position).

The major arguments of the above two opposing views with regard to Business Method Patents are as follows:

A. The European Commission’s Position on the Impact of Business Method Patents:

The business method patents should not be allowed because:
1. Science is something different than business. Patent system and its principles are better for science and not for business.

2. Issuance of business method patents hampers free development of the Internet & e-commerce. Innovation comes from competition in an open and fair market and not from the monopolistic market.

3. Issuance of business method patents keeps the small and medium sized firms / individuals out of the game because big players will take out most of the patents and play the game as per their terms.

4. Issuance of business method patents does not stimulate innovation but rather it rewards existing monopoly right holders who do not distribute wealth and opportunities but rather it strengthens the present structure of power.

5. Every method of doing business over Internet (i.e. e-commerce) involves technology which can be patented individually. Neither every method/way can be patented nor it is possible to license each of the associated patents. It will have exorbitant costs and will be very risky and uncertain to launch such a product based on the business method patent in the market.

6. Subject matter for most of the business method patents is obvious and issuance of business method patents on such broad subject matter will harm other businesses. Grant of 1-click patent to Amazon, severely harming the other online trading businesses.

7. The global patent industry acts as an unregulated monopoly and it is unbalancing the system of property rights that underpin the software industry.

B. The United States’ Position on the European allegations that Business Method Patents causes Uncertainties:

The business method should be evaluated like the other patents because:
1. The only constitutionally permissible purpose of the patent system is to promote Science and useful arts and the same should be applied with respect to business method patents. E-commerce is no different than science.

2. Patent system provides incentive to the creator for his research & development and promotes further innovation.

3. Earlier economy was based on the means of production but today’s economy is based heavily on information and knowledge and business method patents are a natural protection for useful applications of information and knowledge. It would be ironic if the patent system, which has been essential in creating the current economy, now has no place in the Information and knowledge age.

4. Patent system will promote disclosure of inventions. Once the business methods are employed on the Internet in e-commerce, they can be easily copied and this will help to promote innovation.

5. A business method patent may be the sole asset of an Internet startup company, other than the accumulated knowledge of the personnel. It also helps up to value the startup company and gives a competitive advantage. Investors are more likely to invest in a startup company if the company is easier to value and is able to offer security for an investment in the company.

6. Priceline.com (much criticized business method patent – reverse auction system) offers an example of a business method patent providing an incentive to innovate; it lured hundred of millions of investment dollars to finance its attempt to practice its business method patents. Without the patent protection, the investors are not going to invest with Priceline.com

7. Adoption of copyright principles to evaluate patentability of business method adds unnecessary complications without providing a benefit.

8. The mere listing of patents and litigation is not a sufficient evaluation of whether business method patent provide a net benefit to the society.
The issue is still open-ended and needs some better approach to harmonize of dissimilar interests.

However, if we go minutely, we will find that patent protection for business method patents is available in virtually every major market of the world provided that the business method must utilize some tangible technology such as hardware embedded software. The solutions provided by such business method patents are making a contribution in the development. Considering the importance of Business Method Patents in the era knowledge economy where e-commerce is expanding at an enormous speed, the world leaders should arrive at a consensus and such a consensus will be beneficial for all the nations and further economic & scientific development.

The author can be reached at: jaideep@legalserviceindia.com / Print This Article

Lawyers

Lawyers Search

• Find a lawyer
• Know your legal options
• Information about your legal issues

File Mutual Consent Divorce

Right Away
Call us at Ph no: 9650499965
Copyright Registration Online Right from your Desktop...
*Call us at Ph no: 9891244487

Legal Advice

Get legal advice from Highly qualified lawyers within 48hrs.
with complete solution.

    Your Name                Your E-mail
          

Legal Service India

lawyers in Delhi
lawyers in Chandigarh
lawyers in Allahabad
lawyers in Lucknow
lawyers in Jodhpur
lawyers in Jaipur
lawyers in New Delhi
lawyers in Nashik
Contract laws
Protect your website
Army law
lawyers in Mumbai
lawyers in Pune
lawyers in Nagpur
lawyers in Ahmedabad
lawyers in Surat
Faridabad lawyers
Noida lawyers
lawyers in Dimapur
Trademark Registration in India
Woman issues
Famous Trials
lawyers in Kolkata
lawyers in Janjgir
lawyers in Rajkot
lawyers in Indore
Gurgaon lawyers
Ghaziabad lawyers
lawyers in Guwahati
Protect your website
Law Colleges
Legal Profession
Transfer of Petition
Lawyers in India - Search by City legal Service India
lawyers in Chennai
lawyers in Bangalore
lawyers in Hyderabad
lawyers in Cochin
lawyers in Agra
lawyers in Siliguri
Lawyers in Auckland
Cause Lists
Immigration Law
Medico Legal
lawyers in Dhaka
lawyers in Dubai
lawyers in London
lawyers in New York
lawyers in Toronto
lawyers in Sydney
lawyers in Los Angeles
Wills
Cheque bounce laws
Lok Adalat, legal Aid and PIL

About Us | Privacy | Terms of use | Juvenile Laws | Divorce by mutual consent | Lawyers | Submit article | Lawyers Registration | Sitemap | Contact Us

legal Service India.com is Copyrighted under the Registrar of Copyright Act ( Govt of India) © 2000-2015
ISBN No: 978-81-928510-0-6