Canadian multinational telecommunications company Research in Motion (RIM), currently known as BlackBerry, has been denied an Indian patent on the company’s claimed invention regarding a method of verifying digital signature especially in smaller devices like the mobile phones.
BlackBerry claimed that the invention relates generally to the processing of messages, such as e- mail messages, and more specifically to a system and method for validating certificates used in the processing of encoded messages.
Although the company argued that the present invention solves technical issues relating to time consumption and cost involved in the verification process of smaller gadgets such as mobile devices, the patent office at Delhi refused to grant patent observing that the claims fall under Section 3 (k) of Section 3 of Patent Act 1970.
According to the Section 3 (k), mathematical and business methods, computer programmes per se or algorithms are categorised as non-patentable subject matter.
Rejecting the patent application, Ajay Singh Meena, assistant controller of patents & designs, observed that the subject matter of claimed invention was provided as executable software instructions stored in computer-readable media, such as mobile device. “The instructions for performing the steps of the method claims and execution of instruction are software features and are not physical constructional features. It is considered as a not patentable subject matter,” the assistant controller said.
BlackBerry, however, submitted that the present invention was directed to a system and method for efficient verification of digital signatures on certificates by storing certain information employed in signature verification operation for the purpose of reuse.
According to a patent document filed by the company, the verification process can be time-consuming and costly particularly where the verifications are performed on smaller devices, such as mobile devices. Where multiple certificates are processed on a user’s computing device, the same digital signature may be subject to verification more than once.