Apex industry body ASSOCHAM has urged the Prime Minister Narendra Modi for bringing out appropriate amendments to the prevailing computer related invention (CRI) guidelines that have led to an instable and unpredictable environment in India’s information, communication and technology (ICT) sector.
“The present CRI guidelines have put a blanket ban on patenting of computer related inventions unless a ‘novel hardware,’ is also invented thereby impacting the entire ICT sector and allied industries that contribute immensely to India’s gross domestic product (GDP) and generate significant employment,” highlighted ASSOCHAM in a communication addressed to Mr Nripendra Misra, Principal Secretary in the PMO (Prime Minister’s Office).
“The lack of intellectual property (IP) protection opportunities in the area of CRI will not only effect investment but will also have a direct impact on employment and job growth related opportunities in the ICT industry,” said ASSOCHAM secretary general, Mr D.S. Rawat.
“For India, to become a leading global player in areas of research and development (R&D) and software products, it is imperative that IP protection is made available at par with global standards,” said Mr Rawat.
The ASSOCHAM letter also highlighted how the PM recently launched BHIM-Adhaar app aiming to bring about innovation for digital payments and recommended that such technology be patented.
“It is abundantly clear that prevailing guidelines are not aligned to ‘Digital India,’ initiative and are also not in compliance with Indian Patent Law and Indian Judicial Dictum,” it added.
As such presently the CRI guidelines do not support objectives of various schemes launched by the government.
The contribution of industrial sector to India’s GDP is close to 25 per cent and this is all applied research utilising well established scientific principles, mathematical formulas and algorithms to research into its practical industrial application but the CRI guidelines place complete restriction on patenting of the same.
Thus entire 25 per cent of its contribution to country’s GDP is now at stake due to the prevailing scenario vis-à-vis CRI guidelines, noted the ASSOCHAM letter.
Further, it is rare to invent any improvements of new product without the use of software as all the forefronts of new technologies be it robotics, internet of things, ICT, cloud technology, genomics and renewable or alternative energy are implemented by software and such inventions are patentable outside but not in India.
“Therefore, investors will not be encouraged to make inventions in India and even start-ups will not be encouraged and motivated to innovate in India if we continue with the present CRI guidelines released in February 2016 and it will be death knell to all software implemented innovations in India,” highlighted ASSOCHAM.