July 30, 2017
Mere invention in software is not eligible for patent but necessary physical interactions among the hardware components and the invention was patentable.
Facebook-the Social media giant has received a patent in India for systems & methods for providing privacy settings for the applications installed in their profiles.
As per the Patents Act, 1970, a mere invention in software isn’t eligible for patent, but the Patent Office observed that the amended claim of Facebook showed the necessary physical interactions among the hardware components & the invention was patentable.
Specification that Facebook filed with the Patent Office explains that users may usually install applications which can be accessed through a link pasted to a member’s profile or through an app installed within the member’s profile.
Applications installed within the member profile may comprise profile applications/platform applications. These applications are developed by 3rd party entities outside the social network, by the social network or by members of the network.
For example, a movie-related application provided by an online company that ships movie rentals to its customers may be able to access data such as the member’s education, interests & hobbies in order to make recommendations.
Such info. may be displayed to the member & the member through the privacy settings under the invention, can determine who can access & view the info.
Member might select other members who can view data about the particular info. from the application. For eg, the member may decide other members who can view the member’s most recent movie rentals.
The member may also limit the display of the application on his profile to other members of the social network designated as his friends.
The patent application, filed in 2016.
“In view of the written submissions & observations the outstanding objections raised have been waived. The instant application proceeds for grant as per Section 43(1) of the Patents Act, 1970,” the order says.
Social media network major, which owns Facebook, Instagram & WhatsApp among others, has brought in numerous privacy settings. Facebook has various options for customized privacy settings for content provided by users, giving them control over who can see the content in their posts.