Intellectual Property protection scheme for startups

Intellectual property (IP) contributes enormously to our country, to our life. Almost all of the hundreds of products on the World Health Organization’s Essential Drug List, which are critical to saving or improving people’s lives all around the world, came from the research and development departments of the pharmaceutical industry and depends on patent protections.

Therefore, IP helps people live in a safer world and  helps a country's economy grow – the IP sphere attracts many businesses,as they help a business become more profitable as a direct result of a good and helpful invention (in case everything worked out).

However, what is behind the scene?

IP creation is very expensive. To be innovative you have to purchase techniques that cost a lot; finding qualified personnel's also cost a lot; moreover, you can never be sure that your project will end up with satisfying results.

Keeping all that in mind, the Government of India has decided to help innovative businesses by initiating "The Scheme for Facilitating Start-ups Intellectual Property Protection (SIPP). SIPP is a part of the recently launched Start-Up India Action Plan 2016. This Scheme assists Start-ups in various steps, from the initial filing, until the registration of various Intellectual Property objects such TradeMarks, Patents and Designs.

So who can use governmental support?

For the purpose of Government schemes, Start-Up is any entity incorporated or registered in India not more than five years, with an annual turnover not exceeding 25 crore rupees in any preceding financial year and working towards innovation, development or commercialization of new products, processes or services driven by technology or any other form of intellectual property.

For availing various benefits, an entity would be required to be recognised as a Startup by applying on Startup India Mobile App/ Portal.

In order to obtain tax benefits, a Startup shall be required to be certified as an eligible business from the Inter-Ministerial Board of Certification.

The points in the action plan relating to patents are focused on three aspects:

  1. 80% cut in the patent application fee for start-ups
  2. Panel of facilitators to provide legal support and assist in filing of patent applications
  3. Patent applications of start-ups to be fast-tracked

For the purpose of facilitating Start-ups and giving them assistance while getting their Intellectual Property registered in India, the Controller General of Patents, Design and Trademarks (CGPDTM) also appoints a panel of Facilitators.

The Facilitators would perform the below-mentioned function

  • Providing general and basic advice to the Start-ups with respect to different Intellectual Properties.
  • Providing information regarding protecting and promoting IPRs in different countries.
  • Providing assistance and guidance in filing the applications for registration of Intellectual Properties like Trademarks, Patents and Designs and disposal of the same at the Indian Offices under the CGPDTM.
  • Drafting Specifications, Claims, response to Examination Reports/Queries etc.
  • Attending hearing on behalf of Start-ups.
  • Contestingthird-partyOppositions.
  • Ensuring disposal of the IPR applications.

The Facilitators are not allowed to charge anything from the Start-ups for the services provided by them.

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