InvnTree had previous published an
article discussing Government of India's proposal on
patents in its "Start-up Action Plan". The Office of the
Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks (CGPDTM),
which is generally referred to as the Indian Patent Office (IPO),
has published a "Scheme for Facilitating Start-UPs
Intellectual Property Protection" (SIPP), which provides the
implementation details of the proposal made in the action plan.
The points in the action plan relating to patents broadly
focused on three aspects:
80% cut in the patent application fee
Panel of facilitators to provide
legal support and assist in filing of patent applications
Patent applications of start-ups to
be fast tracked
SIPP on the other hand provides implementation details
corresponding only to the second point listed above, which will now
The implementation details provided in SIPP, among other things,
sheds light on:
Eligibility to avail benefits of the
Qualification of facilitators
Fees to the facilitators and their
Eligibility to avail benefits of the scheme
An entity to avail the benefits of this scheme has to be
certified as "start-up" by the Start-up Certification
Board. Several requirements have to be met to be certified as
"start-up", which will not be discussed in the
In other words, any entity/company, just by the virtue of being
formed newly does not qualify to benefit from this scheme. The
entity has to be certified by the Start-up Certification Board.
Qualification of facilitators
earlier envisaged that provisions applicable to existing patent
facilitation centres would be modified to accommodate requests from
start-ups. We had also discussed limitations of such centres. SIPP
appears to have taken into account such limitations of existing
centres and has tried to add more facilitators.
The facilitators will be empanelled by the Controller (CGPDTM).
Patent agents, trademark agents, advocates and some government
departments can apply to the Controller to be empanelled as
facilitators. The Controller has in-fact sent out emails to patent
agents informing about the scheme and has sought applications.
In a nutshell, a large number of professionals can be empanelled
as facilitators by the Controller. However, the quality of the
professionals who would be willing to be facilitators is something
to watch out for given the fee prescribed in the scheme.
Fees to the facilitators and their functions
The structure of the facilitator's fees is provided in the
Stage of payment
At the time of filing
At the time of final disposal
All figures in INR
Speaking of patent application filing, the activities carried
out at the time of filing include, drafting of a patent
specification and filing of a patent application, and may
optionally include prior art search. Considering the tasks involved
at the time of filing, the fee prescribed is far from reality, in
our opinion. It appears that the scheme has been scripted just for
the sake of having a scheme in place.
The facilitators will be directly paid by the Central
Government. Further, the facilitators are not supposed to charge
anything from the start-ups. Hence, the facilitators have to render
their services for the above mentioned fees, and nothing in
addition to that.
It is not very clear whether a person or entity once empanelled
as facilitator is compelled to work as per the fee prescribed above
while working with certified start-ups, or are they free to charge
their typical fee if the certified start-up chooses not to avail
the benefits of this scheme. In case the facilitators are compelled
to work as per the above prescribed fee, then I doubt if serious
patent professionals would be keen on being empanelled as
While the fees prescribed for patent and design services appear
to be far from reality, the fee prescribed for trademark services
appear to be relatively closer to reality.
We hope this article helps start-ups gain better understanding
of the scheme related to patents resulting from the Start-up Action
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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This article enunciates the recent, much awaited, and landmark judgment delivered on September 16, 2016 by Hon'ble Delhi High Court throwing light on the important provisions of the Copyright Act, 1962.
The Patents Act 1970, along with the Patents Rules 1972, came into force on 20th April 1972, replacing the Indian Patents and Designs Act 1911. The Patents Act was largely based on the recommendations of the Ayyangar Committee Report headed by Justice N. Rajagopala Ayyangar. One of the recommendations was the allowance of only process patents with regard to inventions relating to drugs, medicines, food and chemicals.
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