In order to promote and successfully implement the Startup India Campaign, the Government of India launched a scheme in the year 2016, namely, the Scheme for facilitating Start-ups Intellectual Property Protection (SIPP) with the object to provide domestic innovators with high-quality IP services and tools to protect and commercialize their innovations.
Under the scheme of SIPP, IPR facilitators have been empanelled for assisting startups to protect their IP without charging any professional fee for providing services such as advising, drafting, filing, and disposing off their IP applications. The said professional charges, as per specified fee structure by SIPP, is paid to the facilitator by the Central Government.
Government to endure facilitation cost: Under this scheme, the Central Government bears the entire fees of the facilitators for any number of patents, trademarks or designs that a Startup may file, and the Startups shall bear the cost of only the statutory fees payable.
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 list of persons can be empanelled as an IPR 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 IPR Facilitator
- 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.
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.
The Scheme, as launched by the Government of India, can be accessed here.