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Intellectual Property: Government extends IP protection scheme for startups till 2020

Startups covered under SIPP will not be required to obtain certificate of an eligible business from the Inter-Ministerial Board of Certification

The decision to extend the scheme will encourage startups to encash on innovation and for that protection of IPRs is crucial.

The government has extended the Startups Intellectual Property Protection (SIPP) scheme for 3 years till March 2020, to help entrepreneurs protect their patents, trademark and designs. Started initially on a pilot basis in January 2016, the scheme was in force till March 31 this year.

It is now being “extended further for a period of three years”, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) said in a circular earlier this month. It is crucial for startups to protect their intellectual property rights (IPRs) in this highly competitive world, it added.

The decision to extend the scheme will encourage startups to encash on innovation and for that protection of IPRs is crucial. The government last year announced several incentives, including tax benefits, to the sector under the Startup India action plan.

“The scheme of SIPP aims to promote awareness and adoption of intellectual property rights among startups. The scheme is inclined to nurture and mentor innovative and emerging technologies among startups and assist them in protecting and commercialise it by providing them access to high-quality IP services and resources,” the DIPP said.

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It added that startups covered under this scheme will not be required to obtain certificate of an eligible business from the Inter-Ministerial Board of Certification. “However, startups will be required to give a

self-declaration that they have not availed funds under any other government scheme for the purpose of paying the facilitator/patent agent/trademark agent for filing and prosecuting their IP application,” the circular said.

For effective implementation of the scheme, the DIPP has empanelled several facilitators, who are required to provide IPR-related services to startups. According to the scheme, facilitators should not charge anything from a startup. The government has decided to bear the entire cost of facilitation for filing of patents, trademarks or designs in order to encourage young entrepreneurs and innovation.

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The facilitators shall be empanelled by the Controller General of Patent, Trademark and Design (CGPDTM), which may revise the list of facilitators from time to time. Any advocate or a patent or trademark agent registered with the CGPDTM can become a facilitator under the scheme. However, it clarified that the IP application has to be signed by a person authorised to do so under the provisions of the relevant Act and Rules.

As per the guidelines, the CGPDTM shall regulate conduct and functions of empanelled facilitators from time to time. In case of any complaint by a startup about a facilitator or refusal by facilitator to provide services to the startup or on getting information about professional misconduct through any source, the CGPDTM can remove the facilitator from the panel without notice.

The facilitators will help the startup applicants in information and assistance related to filing patent and trademark related applications, filing responses to examination reports from the IP office, appearing on behalf of startup at hearings etc.

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The government will pay the facilitator a fee of Rs 10,000 at the time of filing a patent applications and Rs 2,000 each for trademark and design application. A similar amount will be paid at disposal of final application. If any application is withdrawn or abandoned before disposal of application, facilitator shall be entitled to fees only for filing of application and not for disposal of application.

The cost of the statutory fees payable for each patent, trademark or design applied for by a startup after launch of this scheme shall be borne by the startup. To obtain tax related benefits, a startup shall be required to be certified as an eligible business from this board.

First published on: 25-04-2017 at 01:30:45 am
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