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Do You Really Need A Patent Lawyer?

You have an invention — something that would fill a need and make life easier. It might even make you some money, if you could get the exclusive right to manufacture it or sell the rights to it. In other words, you need a patent. But the patent attorney wants money to file a patent application for you. Must your invention go waste or should you apply for a patent yourself, without a lawyer?

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Difference Between Memorandum and Articles of Association

Unlike in case of Memorandum of Association (MOA), registration of the Articles of Association (AOA) is a non-binding requirement for a company. Section 5 of the Companies Act 2013 provides that the Articles of a company are to contain the rules and regulations for management. Accordingly, the MOA deals with the powers and limitations of the company, while the AOA deals with the powers/limitations of the management personnel. As mentioned, registration of the Articles is optional.

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Fast-track Patent Registration in India

India wants to establish itself as a patent registration hub, such that the startups from anywhere can register here. Towards this end, the Government has implemented a lot of intellectual property related proposals laid out in the Startup India Action Plan (Read here). The proposals now have a concrete structure in the form of the Patent (Amendment) Rules, 2016. These Rules aim at lower costs and faster turnarounds.

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What is A Patent?

The Indian law for patents is enshrined in the Patents Act, 1970 as amended by the Patent (Amendment) Rules, 2016. So what is a patent? A patent is an exclusive monopoly given by the Government to an inventor over his creation (innovation) for a limited period of time. Innovation can be understood as a brand new item or process, which is ingenious and has commercial applicability. The ownership of a patent confers on the patentee the exclusive right to use, make or sell his/her creation for the term of the grant. Patent is a form of intellectual property and such rights are enforceable in the court of law.
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How To Choose Your Business Structure

If you are looking to start a new business, making your way through the legalities is the going to be the least interesting part. Though, you’ll do well to acknowledge that they actually form an essential part of initial business planning that converts your idea into a reality.

Business FormationFor instance, legal business structure is an enabler without which business operations or growth could get into a deep freeze. Let’s say, you are setting up as an online retailer. Nearly all marketplaces will ask for your business registration before discussing anything else. Similarly, most investors, credit suppliers, and channel partners would want to see your company’s existence in government records. Not to mention, it is a prima facie indicator of the seriousness and trustworthiness of an enterprise.

The choice largely boils down to compliance burden, tax implication, and ease of operation. Following are the possible ways to get going in India:
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Budget 2016 Rationalizes Presumptive Tax Provisions

One of of the key challenges faced by the Government today is increasing the ease of doing business in India that will provide impetus to self-employment and instill confidence among the investor community. Presumptive taxation is one such provision in the Income Tax Act. If you are a startup, micro or small enterprise you might want to consider it.

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Startup India Action Plan: Procurement Norms and Exit Provisions

Through its draft Startup India Action Plan, the Government has indicated its commitment towards a conducive ecosystem for startups. Continued from our previous post in this series, the new norms for eligible enterprises are as follows:

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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:

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Startup India Action Plan: Simplified Legal Compliance

Speaking of startups, the Finance Minister said, “The more the sector becomes unregulated, the better it will be. One of the reasons why India became an important IT hub was because we had no laws governing it. The entire Startup India campaign is intended to create a supporting system.”

The Startup India Action Plan has tried to simplify the cumbersome and expensive laws that have long been blamed for adversely impacting the entrepreneurial initiative in the country, focusing on three key areas –
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Startup India Action Plan: Eligibility

It may be too early to comment upon how Startup India Action Plan will be put into practice – administratively and legally – but it is certainly a bold step forward in developing entrepreneurial initiative in India. That said, it is not free from contentious issues. With the Plan clearly underlining the Government’s inclination towards promoting technology and IP, other businesses may feel left out. There can be new or improved offerings, particularly in the services sector, that are not essentially technologically backed. Perhaps the Budget will throw more light on the subject of inclusivity. It will be an imperative to ensure that the proposed Inter-Ministerial Board does not become an enabler for red-tape the Government is so keen to curb. Broadly, eligible enterprises should meet the following conditions:          
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