Case: Ferid Allani v. Union of India

Decided on: 12th December 2019

Coram: Justice Pratibha M. Singh

HEADNOTE

The Delhi High Court has reiterated that the computer related inventions demonstrating ‘technical effect’ or ‘technical contribution’ are patentable even though it may be based on a computer program. In this case Ferid Allani filed a patent application seeking grant of a patent for his invention titled “a method and device for accessing information sources and services on the web”. There were various claims and among them Claim 9 sought protection for a corresponding device claim written in means plus function format. The claimed invention achieves this objective in a manner that is quicker and easier to use than methods known at the time of invention. The patent office eventually refused this application holding that it is directed under Section 3(k) and claims regarding device was rejected on lack of novelty and inventive step. Court in this case explained the legal position of “per se” under Section 3(k) and compared the provision with Article 52 of EPC. Court stated the importance of computer program in today’s inventions especially inventions related to Artificial intelligence, blockchain and other digital products. Further Court stated that Patent applications in these fields would have to be examined to see if they result in a ‘technical contribution’. Hon’ble Court directed patent office to re examine the application giving the applicant an opportunity of being heard and issue a decision within 2 months.

Judgement