Under the Make in India initiative, the Government of India launched the Scheme for Facilitating Start-Ups Intellectual Property Protection (SIPP) in January 2016. This scheme was initiated in an effort to reach out to start-ups, protect and promote their Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and to encourage creativity and innovation among themselves. Any Start-ups registered under the DIPP and have obtained certificate of recognition, can avail patent filing on a reduced rate i.e. 50% less as compare to the other companies. In order to introduce the IP law and to provide the cost effective assistance to the startup, the Government invited advocates and patent agents to sign up for the SIPP scheme. Consequently, several members of the IPR practicing community are now part of this scheme and registered themselves as "Facilitator".
Start-ups can avail a complete start-to-end array of services with the help of "Facilitator", including general advice, assistance in drafting complete/provisional applications, filing at IPO, preparing and filing responses to examination reports, appearing at hearings, contesting opposition and ensuring the final disposal of the IPR application. Under this scheme, when any Start-up filed their patent application with the help of appointed facilitator, then no fee shall be paid to the facilitator by that startup, except the official fee which is to be borne by the start-up only. The government has fixed the professional fee for the facilitator which is INR 10000 comprises of consultancy, searching, drafting and filing.
APPLICABLE LAW UNDER PATENTS ACT, 1970 FOR START-UP
Under the SIPP scheme, the Government has implemented the Patent Amendment Rules, 2016, w.e.f. May 16 2016; now include the definition of startups under Rule 2(fb) and reads as:
"Start-up means an entity, where
- (i)more than five years have not lapsed from the date of its incorporation or registration;
(ii) the turnover for any of the financial years, out of the aforementioned five years, did not exceed rupees twenty-five crores; and
(iii) it is working towards innovation, development, deployment or commercialisation of new products, processes or services driven by technology or intellectual property:
Provided that any such entity formed by splitting up or reconstruction of a business already in existence shall not be considered as a start-up.
Explanation: In calculating the turnover, reference rates of foreign currency of Reserve Bank of India shall prevail
According to the amended rules a "startup" is defined as a new company/LLP/registered Partnership firm; i) That has been founded not more than 5 years ago; ii) That does not have a turnover of more than INR 25 crores i.e., approximately USD 3,850,000 in any financial year, in the last 5 years' time, and iii) That is working towards innovation, development, deployment or commercialization of new products, processes or services driven by technology or intellectual property. Further, the Start-up are also provided with the three year tax holiday
FEES UNDER PATENTS ACT, 1970 FOR STARTUPS
The Government has provided incentives to such startups to protect their patents by giving them 50 percent discount in the official fees for filing a patent application. For e.g. the official fees for filing an application for a patent by start-up is Rs 4000/- as compared to Rs 8,000 that other than natural person 'ONP' have to pay. Another provision which has been introduced in the Patents law is the 'express examination' for Start-up. By paying a slightly higher fee as compare to regular examination, Start-up can expedite the patent process and reduce the patent grant time from 4-5 years to approximately 2 years. It is one of the major advantage for start-up in getting the patent in a very short span.
Having a patent is now of utmost important for an inventor. When any startup who worked in the field of research and innovation development is more prone to the risk of infringement and if their novel invention got infringed, may cause a huge loss. To protect and to foster the protection among the startup, a patent for an invention is must. With this goal and an objective of up-liftment of the research and development in the country, government has launched the SIPP scheme and increasingly more and more startup is now being a part of this scheme. Currently there are about 2000 startup has registered themselves under SIPP scheme and availed the patent protection. In a recent move, the government has introduced another platform with the Israel where startups, research teams, etc., can share their innovation in the areas of agriculture, water and digital health. The most promising proposals will have the chance to cash prizes, a bilateral market access seminar in Israel and an opportunity to pilot with leading partners in India.
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