Software Patents, Copyright, and Piracy Issues in India
India has developed enormously in the field of science and technology. Information Technology has been one of the fastest growing sectors in the country and a major contributor to the economy. India's economy has boomed over the past decade due to Government's initiates. With it vast pool of educated population and its leading presence in the Software arena India is fast becoming a knowledge hub.
This paper gives an overview of Patent, copyright and Cyber laws, software piracy issues, and analyses the economic benefits of reducing piracy and the ethical issues of piracy.
Overview of Patent, Copyright and Cyber Laws
The protection regarding Intellectual Property Rights differs from country to country. Beginning with GATT, WTO and TRIPS (Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights) the economic focus of International trade and global policy has progressively moved from the tariff protection of goods to "Protection of Intellectual Property".
The Protection of Intellectual Property Rights in India is a movement that is continuing to gain strength. There is a well established Statutory, administrative and Judicial Framework to safeguard Intellectual Property rights in India. India has enacted several legislation's and drafted amendments to several existing legislation's in order to fulfill the obligations imposed on it by TRIPS.
Patent rights give the owner the exclusive right to make the invention, use the invention, sell the invention and distribute the invention. These exclusive rights are obtained after the grant of the Patent by Registrar of Patents.
In India the law governing Patents is the Patent Act, 1970("the Patents Act"). The Patents Act has been amended recently by the Patents (Amendment) Act, 1999("1st Amendment") and the Patents(Amendment) Act, 2002("2nd Amendment"). The legislation is supported by the Patents Rule, 1972("the Rules") which have been amended and update periodically, the latest amendment being Patents(Amendment) Rules, 1999.
Key Features of Patents:
*) the term of the patents was originally 14 years. This was amended under TRIPS obligations to 20 years
*) Software can probably be patented in India. In the US and the European Union it can be patented if it shows technical effect. Article 27 of TRIPS lists out the patentable subject matter.
*) Business Method cannot be patented in India as of now. It can be patented in US and European Union if it uses technology in a unique manner.
*) The international governing patents include Paris convention and the Patent convention treaty.
Copyright is about protecting the expression of an idea, rather than the idea itself. It covers original literacy, dramatic, musical or artistic work. Literacy works include computer programs, tables and compilations including computer database.
In India the Intellectual Property rights of computer...