Nokia has developed cold feet over a patent application it had filed in 2006 on an invention of a method to select plug-in code modules in a computing device. It was filed in association with the original inventor, UK-based Symbian Software. Nokia had filed the patent application for Symbian’s operating system (OS) after the London-based company’s OS became popular in the mobile handsets.
At a time when the Chennai Patent Office was readying for the final hearing, scheduled for June 18, the Nokia’s patent agent on May 17 sent an e-mail saying the company was not interested in pursuing the matter. Nokia apparently did not cite any specific reason for abandoning the application.
Taking into account Nokia’s communication, the patent office refused to proceed with the application, citing the objections raised in the first examination report (FER) had not been addressed by the applicant company. The patent office in its FER had raised a slew of objections to the Nokia’s claims. It pointed that the method steps given in claims were merely statements and all the steps should have been defined clearly incorporating what physical constructional features the said steps are being enabled to make the invention functional, it said.
The patent office said the invention was mere a computer programme, camouflaged in method claims and, therefore, was not allowed under Section 3 (k) of the Patents Act, 1970. It pointed out that the proof of right from inventor — Symbian Software to first applicant Nokia — should have been filed with application.
According to Nokia document, the invention was to provide a flexible and extensible way of automatically determining which plug-in to be used in situation where a computer has multiple plug-ins available. Each plug-in could perform a particular task, but in sufficiently different manner to make it advantageous to choose a particular plug-in for a particular circumstance.