IP Protection Schemes for Start-Ups and SMEs

Startup India

While considering IP Protection Schemes for Start-Ups, Startup India appears to be the perfect example. On April 17, 2015, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry of the Government of India released a notification to define ‘startups’. According to the notification, an entity will be defined as a startup if it follows the below-mentioned criteria:

  • Less than five years old. For Biotechnology start-ups, it should be less than ten years old.
  • Annual turnover not exceeding INR 25 crore in any preceding financial year
  • Working towards innovation, development or improvement of products or processes or services, or if it is a scalable business model with a high potential for employment generation or wealth creation

Benefits related to Intellectual Property

  • Fast track examination and disposal of Patent applications.
  • A panel of Facilitators will be set up who will provide advice on promotion and protection of IPR in the overseas jurisdiction. They will also be responsible for providing end-to-end advisory from making applications till the final stage of IPR application.
  • A rebate of 80% on patent filing fees vis-à-vis other companies. As per the latest status report till April 2017, 179 patent applications received the benefit of up to 80% rebate in patent fees. They also got free legal assistance.

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Support International Patent Protection in Electronics and IT (SIP-EIT)

This particular scheme is meant to support International patent Protection by SMEs and Technology Startup Units.  The eligibility criteria are as follows:

  • Micro, Medium, and Small (MSME) enterprises should be registered in India.
  • Enterprises engaged in the manufacture or production of goods where the investment in plant and machinery does not exceed INR10 Cr OR
  • Providing or rendering of services the scheme will be restricted to enterprises where the investment in plant and machinery does not exceed INR 5 Cr
  • In-house R&D Certification by DSIR OR
  • Technology Incubation enterprises registered as companies with support under some government scheme


To provide financial support for international filing in Information Communication Technologies and Electronics sector. Reimbursement of up to a maximum of INR 15 Lakhs per invention or 50 % of the expenses incurred in filing the patent, whichever is less. The applicant can apply for support at any stage of the international patent filing with the reimbursement only applicable to expenditures incurred from the date of acceptance of the complete application by DeitY subject to the approval of competent authority.

Visit http://www.ict-ipr.in/sipeit/IPRForm for more information.

Make in India

The benefits of this initiative are as follows:

  • A rebate or refund of 10% on online filing
  • A reduction of 50% of fee for MSMEs

Visit http://www.makeinindia.com/home for more information.

Miscellaneous MSME schemes

The eligibility criteria are as follows:

  • Registered MSME Units.
  • MSME organizations – like industry association, societies, cooperatives, firms, trusts, NGOs, institutions, and universities with a record of assisting MSMEs
  • Competent agencies – like consultancy organizations, research institutes, individual experts or agencies having sound technical and financial capabilities to conduct pilot studies with a minimum of five years of prior experience.
  • Expert agencies – like TIFAC, Patent Facilitation Centre, NRDC, Indian Patent Office, Registrar of Trademark, Registrar of Geographical Indication, D.B.T., Registrar of Copyright, MHRD, NIIPM, IITs, Law Schools, Patent Attorneys, individual IPR expert, WIPO, EU-TIDP, USPTO, KIPO/KIPA, IIFT, DIT, MEF, Ministry of MSME, DSIR and other such bodies.
  • Quasi-Government or Government Aided bodies.
  • Private units provided it is sponsored by MSME.
  • Industry Associations.

IP Related Benefits

Registered Indian MSME will be provided one-time financial support limited up to INR 25000 for a grant of the domestic patent. For a foreign patent, the financial support will be of INR 2 lakh. For registering under the Geographical Indications of Goods Act, a one-time financial support of INR 1 lakh would be provided.

The government of India will provide a total financial support up to 65.00 lakh each for the establishment of IP facilitation centers. It will include a one-time grant of INR 45 lakhs. INR 18 lakhs would be provided as a recurring expense for 3 years and INR 2 lakhs will be provided as a miscellaneous charge.

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