IPR Protection to Start-Ups

Background concept wordcloud illustration of intellectual proper

The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) has launched a scheme for startups to facilitate filing of IPR protection (patents, trademarks, designs) and raise awareness for the same. The scheme, called Start Ups Intellectual Property Protection, is running on pilot basis for now for one year from 16th January, 2016. In order to obtain tax and IPR related benefits, a Startup shall be required to be certified as an eligible business from the Inter-Ministerial Board of Certification unlike the other benefits which can be availed by directly applying on Start-Up India mobile app. The Inter – Ministerial Board of Certification would consist of:

a) Joint Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion

b) Representative of Department of Science and Technology; and

c) Representative of Department of Bio-technology.

In case an entity already exists then the application should be processed within10-25 days for certification by the Board.

Eligibility Criteria for availing IPR benefits:-

  • Valid certification from Board as having innovative business
  • Turnover not more than 25cr and entity registered not prior to five years

The scheme would include:

  • Fast-tracking patent application.
  • Setting up a panel of “Facilitators” who will advise on different Intellectual Property Rights (“IPR”) and also provide advice on promoting and protection of IPRs in overseas jurisdictions.
  • Such Facilitators will also provide end-to-end advisory from making applications till the stage of final disposal of the IPR application.
  • The Government will bear the cost of such Facilitators and the Startups shall bear only the cost of the applicable statutory fees.
  • A rebate of 80% on patent filing fees vis-à-vis other companies is proposed.

Appointment of Facilitators

Facilitators shall be empanelled by the Controller General of Patent, Trademark and Design (CGPDTM) which shall regulate conduct and functions of empanelled facilitators from time to time.

Functions of Facilitators

Among other functions as may be decided by the CGPDTM, facilitators will be responsible for:

  • Providing general advisory on different intellectual property rights to Start-Ups on pro bono basis,
  • Providing information on protecting and promoting IPRs to Start-Ups in other countries on pro bono basis,
  • Providing assistance in filing and disposal of the IP applications related to Patents, trademark and Design under relevant Acts at the national IP offices under the CGPDTM,
  • Drafting complete/ provisional specifications for inventions of Start-Ups ,
  • Preparing and filing responses to examination reports and other queries, notices or letters by the IP offices,
  • Appearing on behalf of start-up at hearing as may be scheduled,
  • Contesting opposition, if any, by other parties, and
  • Ensuring final disposal of the IPR application.

Fees of Facilitators

The facilitator shall not charge anything from the Start-UP or the entrepreneur, and these fees shall be paid directly to the facilitator by the Central Government through the office of the CGPDTM.

Statutory Fees

The cost of the statutory fees payable for each patent, trademark, or design applied for in India or abroad by a Start-Up after launch of this scheme shall be borne by the Start-Up itself.

Ownership of IPR

This scheme shall in no way transfer, either wholly or partially, ownership rights on the IPR created to the facilitator or the government, and the Start-Up shall have full rights on the IP generated. 

 

 

Author: Purvika Bhandari

1st Year (3 year LLB)

Symbiosis Law School, Pune


 

Sources:-

  • Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Action Plan

http://dipp.nic.in/English/Investor/startupindia.aspx

  • Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, FAQs

http://dipp.nic.in/English/Investor/startupindia/FAQs_StartupIndia_30March2016.pdf

  • Start-Up India’s Website

http://startupindia.gov.in/SIPP_IPR_Scheme.pdf

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