The country’s patent office has refused to entertain an application by US technology and search engine major Google for its ‘claimed invention’ regarding a computer-implemented method for providing hypertext to mobile phones. Rejecting the patent application, the Mumbai patent office said the claims of the company did not constitute an invention and hence were not patentable.
In a twist to the proceedings Google, after pursuing the application for almost seven years, informed the patent office about its disinterest in the matter just days before a hearing was to take place on October 15. Google had filed the application in 2008.
Yogesh V Balaji, assistant controller of patents and designs, Mumbai, said: “After being given an opportunity of hearing, the applicant’s agent did not attend the hearing and the objections of hearing notice of September 2015 are not complied with. I am of the opinion that the claims of alleged invention are not patentable subject matter under Section 3 (k) of the Act. Therefore, I hereby refuse the instant application under Section 15 of the Patents Act, 1970.”
Titled ‘Displaying information on a mobile device’, the invention relates to displaying information on a mobile communication device by using various hardware units and technical means such as wireless devices, towers and networks. According to Google filing, it pertains to formatting a network-accessible electronic document by collapsing portions of the document into an expandable display element and providing the expandable display element as well as other content for display on the mobile device.
Google said that more particularly, the objective of the invention is to identify one or more portions of a network-accessible document, and then reformatting to one or more collapsed lists so that they can be easily displayed and navigated on a device having limited display capabilities, which does not relate to a mathematical problem.
The subject matter of the claimed invention is not mere scheme as the steps are performed using wireless devices, wireless towers, wireless networks, public switched telephone networks , specific computer hardware and involves communication between different networks.
Thus, the features of the claims are implemented by using communication networks, computer hardware, firmware, software or a combination, Google had argued.
The patent office had raised objections that though the number of claims recite various methods without disclosing what apparatus or structural component carried out the said steps. In the absence of any structural limitations, the subject matter of these claims is mere scheme and hence falls within scope of Clause (m) of Section 3 of the Patents Act.
The various definitions of the invention given in independent claims are such that the claims as a whole are not clear and concise. The plurality of independent claims makes it difficult to determine the matter for which protection is being sought, the patent office pointed out.