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Startup India Action Plan: Intellectual Property Rights Support

Acknowledging the legal and infrastructural hurdles faced by startups, the Modi Government has announced some key initiatives through its flagship Startup India Action Plan. The proposed regulatory simplification for new ventures eligible under the Plan are:
Intellectual Property Rights Support (See Update)
Under the Startup Intellectual Property Protection (SIPP) scheme, the proposed tools will focus on IPR awareness and rights management of startup businesses. All three categories of intellectual properties – patent, trademark and design – are covered. As an incentive, the Government will bear some part of the expenses associated with the process. The scheme will initially be launched as a pilot for a period of 1 year, providing that:
  • Patent applications for startups will be deal with faster at both examination, as well as, disposal stages.
  • The Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks (CGPDTM) will be entrusted with the task of appointing a panel of “facilitators”, who will offer
o general advise to entities on IPR requirements,
o assistance in filing and disposal of IP applications; includes contesting opposition from other parties, if any
o appearance on behalf of startups at related hearings
o information on protecting and promoting IPRs in other countries
       till the time of final disposal of the application
  • The facilitators will be paid directly by CGPDTM, implying that the facilitator services will be free for the startups.
  • Startups will be required to pay only 20% of the statutory fee for intellectual property rights applications.
Following categories of persons are authorized to act as “facilitators”:
  • A Patent and/or Trademark Agent registered with the CGPDTM
  • Any Advocate as defined under The Advocates Act, who is actively involved in filing and disposal of applications for patents, trademarks and designs
  • Government departments, public sector organizations or agencies

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