The Government of India has launched the Scheme of Facilitating Start-Ups Intellectual Property Protection (SIPP) on January 18, 2016 to facilitate the protection of Patents, Trade Marks and Designs of innovative and interested Start Ups.
The idea is to promote the Intellectual Property Rights of Start-Ups and thus encourage innovation and creativity amongst them.
The scheme is inclined to assist Start-Ups in protecting and commercializing their intellectual property by providing them access to high-quality IP services and resources.
Who Can Apply?
- Any Start-Up which has obtained certification by the Start-up Certification Board (mandatory) as having an innovative business;
- Start-up means an entity, incorporated or registered in India not prior to 5 years;
- Having an annual turnover not exceeding INR 25 Crores / 250 Million (USD 3,700,965* Approx.) in any preceding financial year;
- Working towards innovation, development, deployment or commercialization of new products, processes or services driven by technology or intellectual property;
- Such entity should not be formed by splitting up, or reconstruction, of a business already in existence;
An entity shall cease to be a Start-up if its turnover for the previous financial years has exceeded INR 25 Crores / 250 Million (USD 3,700,965* Approx.) or it has completed 5 years from the date of incorporation/ registration.
Facilitators are also being appointed to be empaneled by the Controller General of Patent, Designs and Trade Marks (CGPDTM) for the effective implementation of the scheme. The conduct and functions of the facilitators shall be regulated by the CGPDTM and in case of any complaint by a Start-Up, the CGPDTM can remove the facilitator from the panel.
The following persons can be a Facilitator:
- Any Patent Agent registered with the CGPDTM.
- Any Trademark Agent registered with the CGPDTM.
- Any Advocate as defined under The Advocates Act, 1961 who is entitled to practice law as per the rules laid down by the Bar Council of India from time to time, who is well-versed with the provisions of the relevant Acts and Rules, and is actively involved in filing and disposal of applications for patents, trademarks and designs.
- Government departments/ organizations/ agencies like TIFAC, NRDC, BIRAC, DEITY, DSIR etc.
Functions of Facilitator
The Facilitators will be responsible for, inter alia, the following functions:
- Providing pro bono general advisory on different intellectual property rights to Start-Ups;
- Providing information on protecting and promoting IPRs to Start-Ups in other countries on pro bono basis;
- Assisting in filing and disposal of the IP applications related to patents, trademarks and Design 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 office,
- Appearing on behalf of start-ups at hearings as may be scheduled;
- Contesting opposition, if any, by other parties, and
- Ensuring final disposal of the IPR application.
Fee Structure of Empanelled Facilitators:
The following fee structure will be applicable to the empanelled facilitators, for any number of patents, trademarks or designs that may be applied for by a Start-Up. 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.
Statutory Fees/ Official Fees
The statutory fees / official fees payable for each patent, trademark or design applied for in India or abroad by a Start-Up under this scheme is to be borne by the Start-Up itself.
Period of Scheme
The scheme shall be run initially on a pilot basis, applicable for 1 (one) year from the date of launch of Start-Up India i.e. January 16, 2016.
This scheme shall in no way transfer, either wholly or partially, ownership rights on the IPR created by the Start-Ups to the facilitator or the Government, and the Start-Up shall have full rights on the IP generated.
The Scheme, as launched by the Government of India, can be accessed here
*@ 1 USD=67.58 INR