Can Artificial Intelligence software be patented in India?

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Artificial intelligence has disrupted the entire technology ecosystem and has opened avenues which were far from imagination a few years back. A lot of activity has been observed in the field of AI with R&D being carried out to implement AI in various industries on a macro level.

A very crucial step for the companies/individuals operating in the AI domain is protecting their technology. This presents us the question; 

How does the Indian patent system reflect on AI based inventions?
In India for patenting an AI backed technology one needs to follow the Computer-related Inventions (CRIs) guidelines which excludes a computer programme or algorithms from being patented.At present these guidelines are focused on computers/algorithm/software based inventions and also are used to examine AI based inventions.

  • To claim IP protection for AI based software, the following is recommended;
  • Describe hardware (eg computer system, server, sensors etc.) along with AI algorithms in your patent;
  • Claim working method/process of device which uses AI; and
    Refrain from focusing directly on programming codes/algorithms of AI.

To get a sole AI based patent in India is like asking for an Airplane at a Car shop Below is our analysis of two granted Indian patents which have claimed Artificial intelligence.

1. IN239319, which claims “A proactive user interface for a computational device having an operating system, the proactive user interface comprising: (a) an interface unit for communicating between a user of the proactive user interface and said operating system, said interface unit including an emotional agent for communicating with the user; (b) at least one software application controlled by the operating system; (c) an artificial intelligence (Al) framework for supporting said at least one software application, communicating with a host platform having the operating system, detecting at least one pattern of interaction of the user with said interface unit, and actively suggesting, to the user, options for altering at least one function of the user interface according to said detected pattern, wherein said agent expresses at least one emotion according to a reaction of the user to said suggestion” 

2. IN228347, which claims” A system that facilitates displaying objects comprising:an input component (110) that receives an input regarding a first object;a relationship component (120) that receives data regarding the first object and determines a plurality of other objects related to the first object and arranges the related objects into a plurality of clusters around the first object, the respective clusters being organized based at least in part upon common metadata shared between the related objects ; and

A display component (140) that concurrently displays the first object with a subset of the other objects, the subset of the other objects having metadata in common with the first object and

The system as claimed comprising an artificial intelligence component (170) that infers an appropriate subset of related objects to display”

As can be seen the word “Artificial Intelligence” can be seen in claims of the above two granted patents but one may notice that this word is just used to represent part of said system that utilizes data/commands provided by AI systems. However no focus is made on the operating principle of AI.

Thus, a good drafting technique should be employed by your patent drafter while working on the claims of your invention. The wording should be articulately chosen focusing on functionality of the system and slyly including the functioning principle/algorithm of the AI system.


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