In the instant matter, OpenTV Inc v The Controller of Patents and Designs and Anr was addressing a challenge brought by US-based OpenTV Inc, which asked for instructions to overturn a decision made on May 31, 202, by the Controller of Patents and Designs office rejecting the company’s request for a patent titled “System and method to provide gift media” under Section 15 of the Patents Act. The patent was rejected on the grounds that it was ineligible for patenting because the claimed subject matter was covered under Section 3(k) of the Act.
Conclusion of the Court
Justice Prathiba M. Singh of the Delhi High Court’s single bench stated her concerns on the possibility that many ideas made by start-ups, SMEs, and educational institutions could not be patented because they are in developing technology. These discoveries may pertain to business practices or the use of computing and digital technologies.
The bench added that, in light of the expanding inventions in this field, it is necessary to reexamine the exclusions in Section 3(k) of the Patents Act of 1970. To prevent patent law from becoming outdated and the practice of patenting itself from being irrelevant in the future, it is necessary to take into account the rapid advancement of technology in the digital sphere, as suggested in the aforementioned Parliamentary Committee Report. It stated that similar issues had also been raised by the parliamentary standing committee in its 161st report on the Review of the Intellectual Property Rights Regime in India.
The Court acknowledged that changing the provision would undoubtedly fall under legislative purview. However, it gave the register the go-ahead to transmit a copy of the ruling to the Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry’s Department for the Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) for review. The appeal is dismissed after Justice Singh considered the matter and determined that the appellant’s innovation is a business process, which attracts the exclusion from patentability under Section 3(k) of the Act. As a result, it cannot be given a patent. No cost-related order.