By now, everyone must be aware that Government of India has kick-started a #startupindia campaign to boost start-up businesses in India. With rest of the country, I’m also pleased to see the policy taking its shape.
Apart from tax benefits announced for the start-ups, intellectual property rights too has taken importance cognizance this time around. The Govt. of India has announced 80% reduction in filing fees for start-ups. Following the announcement, Indian patent office (IPO) released a scheme for facilitating Start-Ups intellectual property protection (SIPP).
First of all, I’m happy that the IPO has taken an initiative to help start-ups to file patents, trademark and design for their innovations. In the announcement, the IPO has clarified the definition of start-up. For the purpose, start-up means an entity, incorporated or registered in India not prior to five years with annual turnover not exceeding INR 25 crores in any preceding financial year. So, not only the new start-ups will be covered under the scheme, even the start-ups that began their business within the span of 5 years are eligible for reduction under the scheme. Further, the IPO has announced that they will empanel facilitators, such as patent agents, lawyers, trademark agents to help the start-ups in drafting and filing patents and trademarks for them. One surprising factor in the announcement is that the facilitator will be paid by the Central Government for their services through IPO. So, the start-ups will only have to pay the Govt. fee for filing the application and the professional fees for the facilitators will be borne by the Central Government. The fees for the professional services offered by the facilitators are fixed at INR 10,000 for filing of patent and INR 5000 for filing of Trademark. On personal note, I wonder how many patent agents will be willing to work at that cost.
Nevertheless, in the larger interest of people, the scheme announced by the IPO is very good for India and I welcome the initiatives by PM Narendra Modi and IPO to boost start-up businesses in India.
Author, Chandrasekhar is Manager and Patent Agent at IP Astra