FOSS Community India

Software patents have always been very contentious. The issue has cropped up again recently in India as the Patent Manual that is being prepared by the Indian Patent Office has guidelines on the Patent Office's understanding of section 3(k) of the Indian Patents Act, and the patentability of software. The Patent Office has been having a series of stakeholder meetings related to the Patent Manual, in which the issue of software patents has been raised by various interested parties. Given the large opposition to the Patent Manual's reading of the Indian Patent Act, the Patent Office has promised to hold a public meeting solely on software patents. However, the date and location of the consultation hasn't been announced yet. We, a loose group of civil society organisations interested in the issue of software patents, believe that a public meeting (and not just an invitees only "industry consultation") on the issue of software patents will help gather together viewpoints which will be invaluable to the Patent Office.

Agenda for the Meeting[]

  1. Presentation on the principles of patent law and software patents | Sudhir Krishnaswamy (National Law School), Nagarjuna G. (Free Software Foundation of India) and Prabir Purkayastha (Delhi Science Forum)
  2. Discussion on software patents in the Indian context: Indian Patent Act, and the draft patent manual | Prashant Iyengar (Alternative Law Forum) and Venkatesh Hariharan (Red Hat)
  3. Discussion on patents and the development sector (freedom of speech, open standards, healthcare, biotech, agro-sector, etc.) | Sunil Abraham (Centre for Internet and Society), Anivar Aravind (Moving Republic), and others
  4. Presentation on software patents that have been granted in India | Pranesh Prakash (Centre for Internet and Society)
  5. Open house on software patents | People speaking will include: Joseph Matthew (Special IT Adviser to the Kerala Government), T. Ramakrishna (National Law School), Abhas Abhinav (DeepRoot Linux), Sreekanth S. Rameshaiah (Mahiti Infotech), Vinay Sreenivasa (IT for Change), any others who wish to speak

Organisations Involved[]

These organisations are involved in organizing the event, in funding it, or just as a partner organisation wishing to share the platform. Some of them are tentatively being included in this list as their involvement is hoped for.

  1. Centre for Internet and Society, Bangalore
  2. Free Software Users Group, Bangalore
  3. Free Software Foundation of India, Mumbai
  4. Society For Promotion of Alternative Computing and Employment, Trivandrum
  5. IT for Change, Bangalore
  6. Alternative Law Forum, Bangalore
  7. Delhi Science Forum, Delhi
  8. Movingrepublic, Kerala
  9. Sarai/CSDS, Delhi
  10. OpenSpace, Bangalore
  11. Swathanthra Malayalam Computing, Kerala
  12. Servelots - Janastu, Bangalore
  13. Mahiti, Bangalore
  14. DeepRoot Linux, Bangalore
  15. Wiki Ocean, Pune
  16. Turtle Linux Lab, Bangalore
  17. Zyxware Technologies, Trivandrum
  18. INSAF(Indian Social Action Forum)
  19. Aneka, Bangalore

Date and Venue[]

Date: Saturday, October 4, 2008 (1000-1700 hrs.)

Venue: 2nd Floor, Ecumenical Resource Centre, United Theological College, Millers Road, Benson Town, Bangalore - 560046