freedom to operate search

Hi, My name is vinod from bangalore. I have an  business concept in the ecommerce industry, which after doing a small research on the net found that the same is already implemented and they have patent pending written on their website & I also found their patent documents in www.wipo.int but couldnt understand if im free to operate or execute the business idea in india here?  I found similar business ideas, slightly different implemented elswhere too... Can a process or business idea be patented?

Can anybody advice me on how to take it ahead, please let me know if you require more details i'll message you or mail u (wouldnt like to disclose the details in public)




Business methods are not patentable in India as per Sec 3(k). The United States, Australia, Japan and Singapore are considered "safe havens" for business method patents. Patent protection for business method patents in Europe is difficult. However business method patent may be allowable in Europe if it satisfies the ‘technical effect’ criteria viz.,


·          It solves a technical problem;

·          It contain a hardware or machine limitation

·          It should incorporate the details regarding the mode of the implementation of the invention via hardware or software.


The latest Manual of Patent Office Practice and Procedure of Indian Patent Office mentions that even machine limitation too would not qualify for business method patent in India. But the manual do not have the force of law.

this is not a legal opinion.

Total likes : 1 times


thanks sy.patents!

Can anybody help me in getting a legal opinion regarding the same.




or refer me any firm or consultant, who can help me with this?


Dear Vinod,


Sy.Patents is correct in saying that a method of doing business is not patentable in India. However, a method, if it is being implemented by way of a hardware system such as a computer or network system may be be patentable. In other words, a business method as such would not be patentable but if implemented by way of hardware systems it may be patentable.

I would be able to provide your proper advise only after considering the kind of method we are talking about here. 

Additionally, a freedom to operate search is not relevant here since we first need to figure out if your invention is patentable or not.

Hope this helps.


Abhinav Bhalla

B.Tech, LL.M. (Kings College London)

Advocate I Registered Patent Agent






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