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Andria V

Need to know the legal steps before my website startup

Hello Andria,
For the benefit of a larger audience of entrepreneurs interested in sports especially cricket , i had a question about the cricket betting industry.

Considering the possibility that the Lodha Panel reccomendations can lead to a legalised system of betting in the country, what would be the pitfalls , from a legal and commercial perspective that an entrepreneur would have to deal with upfront, if he/ she were to develop a sports betting website.

Also, does taking a software patent have any demonstrable benefits in the case of developing a betting engine, that can be used for all kinds of online sports betting ?

Primarily my startup is into developing software solutions that benefit the country economically and socially, but specifically i am looking at this website idea as a way to reduce the rampant corruption in the sport , not necessarily as a money making option, though yes it is important for me to keep the idea sustainable and hence some work is needed still on the business model part of this idea.


Below is the quick reply from the founder of

Hi Ron,

Setting Up Betting Houses

We are at a very early stage in speculating on the justice Lodha Committee’s report on legalizing betting on sports like it happens in Horse racing. However the proposals of setting up of betting houses will be strictly regulated.

But our guess is that the licenses for setting up betting houses would be only possible through limited license. The process of selecting may be as similar to as setting up payment banks who would then further have the online portals. So in that perspective the legal can be handled with pre-emption.

The Patent Aspect

Firtsly, lets analyse the the Scenario that a betting engine (read betting software) would be largely be based on.

  1. A betting software would largely analyse possible outcomes against the the possible odds.
  2. It would factor in historic data to populate favourites and deciding odds and handicaps.
  3. It would also factor in user behaviour and indices to such corresponding action, and some of them will be triggered to monitor response for real events.
  4. On the assumption what technology can do, such software will be self adaptive based on the coding protocols.

I may not have covered all the aspects of what a betting engine can do, however one thing that is common in these aspects is the heavy inclination towards Sec 3(k) of the Indian Patent Act.

And according to the Sec 3(k) of the Indian Patent Act -" The following are not inventions within the meaning of this Act, – a mathematical or business method or a computer program per se or algorithms".

However if such booking engine is developed beyond the reliance on such algorithms, and with something that is not just a computer programme and has novelty, is inventive or tangible, and has proper technical effect or industrial application, it can be patented (Amendment Act 2002).

Although there was a short stint in August 2015 where, through a new guidelines one was allowed to show innovation in just software, instead of both software and hardware and this made it easier to register a patent for technical innovation in a business method — the basis of most patents filed in the business process outsourcing industry however it was struck down by the Apex court.

Retwik Mukherjee
Founder & Legal Consultant Startup & Company Legal


Thanks for the detailed evaluation of my query.
I presume the legalized betting market is difficult to penetrate as a startup , is the jist of what you are saying,considering the govt via the cricket administration will only issue licences to institutions with a clean chit/ proven financial track record.
However one fact i would lke to point out in almost all industry sectors , for small time entrepreneurs it is always a challenge to make headway, so such a challenge is hardly new.
Besides if 1 were to petition the government directly as a startup, the government(or even betting houses) could evaluate the proposal , and possibly use/purchase the software

Bottomline it comes down to having a solid team for such a venture.

Point taken on the novelty aspect, which is probably the only reason why i would patent it, but i think at least a trademark is in the offing, in case it comes up at later stages for any related discussion/litigation as to ownership and IP.

Thanks so much for your quick analysis. I shall message you if i am able to put together a team to tackle this, i think there is some time available to think about this.


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