Centre for Internet & Society

The CRI Guidelines were heavily criticised for their failure to address the ambiguities created by Section 3(k) and for expanding the scope of software patent eligibile subject-matter, inter alia. Following several representations and submissions by interested stakeholders, the Controller General has moved the Guidelines into abeyance, until discussions with stakeholders are complete and contentious issues are resolved, and is a welcome step.


CIS has consistently made submissions to the Indian Patent Office on the issue of software patenting( 2015, 2013, 2010). The latest submission was made in September 2015, in response to the Guidelines for Examination of Computer Related Inventions, 2015(“CRI Guidelines/ Guidelines”) in which we highlighted several concerns and presented solutions, and also proposed a definition of "computer programme per se".

In view of the representations made to the Patent Office, on 14th December 2015, the Controller General issued an order to keep the Guidelines in abeyance. Till the issues therein are resolved, the existing provisions on S. 3(k) of chapter of the Manual of Patent Practice and Procedure will continue to be applicable.

The primary fault with the Guidelines lay in the fact that, legally, its scope of was in excess of section 3(k) of the Indian Patent's Act, 1970 (parent statute). The Controller General's order acknowledging the representations and submissions made in response to the Guidelines, and consequently keeping the Guidelines in abeyance is a welcome step.

You may access the order here.

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