Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are key drivers of economic growth, and the Government of India has been especially cognizant of their demands and concerns, by supporting and encouraging startups and MSMEs through various schemes and incentives introduced from time to time.
Given the Government of India's 'Make in India' push, the Indian MSME sector is poised for rapid growth and integration with major global value chains. MSMEs are the center of innovation, and in recognition of the importance of nurturing innovation and creativity in a knowledge economy, the Government of India has taken strides in strengthening the intellectual property ecosystem. On September 16, 2019, the Government issued a Notice proposing reduction in fees for various IPR applications, clearly targeted at MSME applicants:
|IPR||ACTIVITY||CATEGORY||CURRENT FEES||PROPOSED FEES||REDUCTION (%)|
|PATENTS||Filing||MSME||4000/ 4400||1600/ 1750||60|
|Request for Examination||10000/ 11000||4000/ 4400||60|
|Renewal||2000 to 20000
(+10% for physical filing)
|800 to 8000 (+10% for physical filing)||60|
|GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATIONS||Registration||AUTHORISED USER||500||NIL||100|
|Issuance of Registration Certificate||100||NIL||100|
As per official estimates, there are about 63.05 million micro industries, 0.33 million small and about 5,000 medium enterprises in the country. The main opportunity areas for MSMEs in India are Telecommunications, Healthcare and Electronics. In order to encourage innovation in all these sectors, the Government of India has proposed up to 60 percent reduction in the official fees for patents for MSMEs. The proposed fees will encourage these entities to invest in their intellectual property and will help in protecting their innovations in the global market.
Besides patent applications, the Government of India has introduced fifty (50) percent reduction in filing fees for design applications. The notification also proposed waiving the fee for filing a request for authorized users of geographical indications, as discussed in our blog earlier( See).
The proposed change in fees will hopefully attract a greater number of filings from the MSMEs, which in turn will help the Government of India in continuing activities for improving functional efficiency, achieving enhanced productivity, streamlining delivery of public services, establishing transparency in IP system, and keeping pace with the global developments on IPRs.
The National IPR Policy and the concrete steps undertaken in last five (5) years by the executive Government of India have improved pendency ratios, and disposal rates of IP applications. Filings have increased by eighteen (18) percent among patents, and sixty-nine (69) percent among trademarks. The slew of amendments and proposals for change put out by the government over the past few months has certainly lived up to the objectives of the National IPR Policy and has worked towards promoting creativity and innovation in the country. These concerted efforts may well have contributed to India's improved position in the Global Innovation Index 2019, where the country has jumped five places to rank 52 in the field of IP creation, up from the 57 it was placed at last year.
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