India’s patent office has rejected an application by German telecom major T-Mobile International AG seeking a patent for an invention related to a method for optimising the operational times and cell exchange performances of mobile terminals.
The rejection of T-Mobile’s patent is the latest in the growing number of software patents applications being turned down by Indian patent office. T-Mobile is a German holding company for Deutsche Telekom AG’s various mobile communications subsidiaries outside Germany.
The patent office, Delhi, refused grant of patent for the claimed invention stating that claims fall under Section 3 (k) of The Patent Act 1970. Section 3(k) provides for exclusion from patentability of a computer programme per se and as well as algorithms.
B P Singh, deputy controller of patents and designs, Delhi while disallowing the patent application observed that the method described for optimising the operational times and cell exchange performance of mobile terminals, was algorithm which could be performed by computer programme with the help of programme code.
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“These computer programmes are nothing but computer programme per se and hence not patentable. In the absence of any structural limitations, subject matter of these claims is mere scheme and or mental act,” the deputy controller said.
Based in Bonn, Germany, its subsidiaries operate GSM, UMTS and LTE-based cellular networks in Europe, the United States, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. The company has financial stakes in mobile operations in both Central and Eastern Europe.
The telecom company had argued that the invention involves a method and an arrangement for optimising the operational times and cell exchange performance of mobile terminals in a mobile communication network having adjacent radio cells.