The scheme for Startups Intellectual Property Protection (SIPP) is a scheme envisioned to facilitate the protection of patents, trademarks and designs of innovative and interested startups. The scheme was run on a pilot basis initially and was in force up to 31-3-2020. The scheme is now being extended further for a period of three years. However, based on the experience gained from the implementation of the scheme so far, certain aspects of the scheme have been amended.

Vision

The scheme of SIPP aims to promote awareness and adoption of intellectual property rights amongst startups. The scheme is inclined to nurture and mentor innovative and emerging technologies among startups and assist them in protecting and commercializing it by providing them access to high-quality IP services and resources.

Who Can Apply

Any startup recognized in terms of the notification GSR 127(E) published in the Gazette of India dated 19.2.2019, as may be amended from time to time, can apply for the scheme. The certificate of recognition given by DPIIT can be verified from the Startup India web portal http://www.startupindia.gov.in. The startups covered under this scheme will not be required to obtain a certificate of an eligible business from the Inter-Ministerial Board of Certification.

However, startups will be required to give a self-declaration that they have not availed funds under any other Government scheme for the purpose of paying the facilitator/patent agent/ trademark agent for filing and prosecuting their IP application.

Empanelment of Facilitators

For effective implementation of the scheme, facilitators shall be empanelled by the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks (CGPDTM). The CGPDTM may revise the list of facilitators from time to time. The list of facilitators was last updated by CGPDTM in February 2020.

The CGPDTM shall regulate the conduct and functions of empanelled facilitators from time to time. In case of any complaint by a startup about a facilitator or refusal by the facilitator to provide services to the startup or on getting information about professional misconduct through any source, the CGPDTM can remove the facilitator from the panel without notice.

Who can be a Facilitator

Any Patent Agent registered with the CGPDTM, any Trademark Agent registered with the CGPDTM, any Advocate as defined under The Advocates Act, 1961 who is entitled to practice law as per the rules laid down by the Bar Council of India from time to time, and is well-versed with the provisions of the relevant Acts and Rules, and is actively involved in filing and disposal of applications for trademarks, or a government department/ organization/ agency or CPSU (like TIFAC, NRDC, BIRAC, MeitY, CSIR, Patent Information Centres (PICs) through an authorized representative; and Technology and Innovation Centres (TISCs) in accordance with DPIIT Notification No. 5/1 /2017-CIPAM, dated 19.11.2018, can be a facilitator under this scheme.

Functions and duties of Facilitators

The CGPDTM will assign facilitators to provide free advisory services on intellectual property rights to Startups, as well as information on protecting and promoting IPRs in other countries. Facilitators will also be responsible for filing and disposal of patent, trademark, and design applications at the national IP offices; drafting provisional and complete patent specifications for Startup inventions; responding to examination reports, queries, notices, and letters from the IP office; appearing on behalf of a Startup at hearings; contesting opposition; and ensuring the final disposal of IPR applications.

In conclusion, the Startup India IP Protection Scheme is a great way for startups to get legal assistance and guidance in protecting their intellectual property rights. The scheme was designed to help startups protect their IP rights by providing free advisory services and filing and disposing of patent, trademark and design applications. Additionally, the scheme incentivizes the use of facilitators for filing and prosecuting IP applications, as well as for responding to queries from the IP office. This scheme will help startups save money and time, while simultaneously helping them protect their intellectual property rights.

Fees of Facilitators

Stage of PaymentPatentTrademarkDesign
At the time of filing of Application15,0003,0003,000
At the time of Final Disposal of Application (Without Opposition)25,0005,0005,000
At the time of Final Disposal of Application (With Opposition)35,00010,00010,000

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