Qualcomm Inc, US-based semiconductor company that designs and markets wireless telecommunication products globally, has been denied an Indian patent for an ‘invention’ regarding a technology for distributing personlised electronic coupons (e-coupons) to a slew of mobile devices through servers.
The country’s patent office said there was no technical measure taken by company to implement the inventive features, whereas well known technologies have been used and no non-obvious matter has been disclosed.
Rejecting the patent application, Yogesh V Bajaj, assistant controller of patents & designs, Mumbai, said the technical components used in the alleged invention are computer network system implemented by standard computing capabilities within a mobile communications network.
Qualcomm filed the patent application in 2009 and a hearing took place on November 9, 2015 . The company, in reply to the objections regarding the features being non-patentable because of its business method and algorithm natures, had argued that the invention was an implementable technical subject matter which offers technical solutions to technical problems.
“For example, the subject matter deals with an efficient way of distributing e-coupons using various appropriate communication media. In existing systems, distribution of e-coupons was not efficient due to lack of specificity and use of inappropriate communication media. The present invention offers a technical solution to this technical problem,” the company submitted.
According to a patent document filed by Qualcomm, the server creates a personalised coupon based on information received from mobile request. The coupon can be personalised, based on the generic e-coupon identifier’s input, that is contained in the mobile device’s request, information about the owner of the mobile and inputs regarding the mobile device itself.
The company further submitted that personalising a coupon in this manner offers numerous technical effects, the foremost being able to deliver such coupons to individual customers in formats customised for or compatible with each user’s mobile device.
Another key factor is that coupons could be personalised to reflect the security of the requesting mobile device, the company said.
Referring to Indian Patent Office’s recent guidelines on computer related inventions, which were subsequently put on hold, Qualcomm argued that when, in substance, the claims do not relate to business methods, they are considered to be a patentable subject matter.
The company has pointed out that the subject matter as claimed in the invention is substance that relates to a technical subject matter, and not any of the excluded subject matter under Section 3 (k) of Indian Patent Act.