Amenndment : short note

Amendments (in 1999, 2002, 2005, 2006) were necessitated by India’s obligations under TRIPS, allowing product patents in drugs and chemicals. Another important feature was the introduction of pre-grant representation (opposition) in addition to the existing post-grant opposition mechanism. The pre-grant representation has had success in a short span. One example is the abandonment of a patent application by Novartis on Glivec (Imatinib Mesylate), revoking the earlier granted EMR on the same drug used to treat Leukemia.
A controversial provision of this amendment was on software patent-ability, which was later withdrawn in another amendment (Patents Act, 1970, as amended by Patents (Amendment) Act, 2005). It is clear from the legislative history and interpretation of provisions in the Patent Act, 1970 (as amended in 2005) that the Patent office should not allow intrinsic patent-ability of computer programs. But there is evidence suggesting that the Patent office has acted otherwise. Patent Rules 2003 were amended in 2005 and again in 2006. Some of the important features of both the 2005 & 2006 Rules are the introduction of reduced time lines and a fee structure based on specification size and number of claims, in addition to a basic fee.
‘Though clause (k) of Section (3) of the Indian Patent Act holds computer programmes ‘per se’ or algorithms as non-patentable, technical ‘application of software’ or ‘software combined with hardware’ including embedded systems, may be granted patent’ .


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