StartUps and IP: Silver lining for Inventors and Small & Medium Enterprises

Beginning with the inception of an idea through to the development, protection and commercialization of the idea, investments are needed at every step. The huge costs involved in the conversion of an invention to a final product/process, that can be commercialized to yield benefits, appears to be an insurmountable hurdle for several inventors and small to medium scale organizations. The cost for protection of an invention is nearly equal to the cost for developing and solidifying the concept.

The recent fee changes in filing, prosecution and maintenance in several jurisdictions such as India, US, Europe etc., has had a discouraging effect on several inventors and small organizations. At BananaIP, we understand how small scale organizations and inventors struggle to arrange funds for the development and protection of their Intellectual Property (IP) and we would like to bring to their notice, several options that can help them raise the required funds.

To begin with, inventors and small scale organizations can seek assistance from investors and organizations through an email inquiry asking for financial support. Alternatively, funds may also be raised or borrowed at several stages of the process. The government and government-funded organizations offer various grants and loans that aid in research, development of invention and procurement of IP rights. Through this post and subsequent posts, we would like to bring to the knowledge of inventors and organizations, offices that can be approached for raising requisite funds.

Department of Scientific & Industrial Research (DSIR)

This government organization was formulated in 1985 for promoting indigenous technology research and develop, utilize and transfer the same through incentives and other measures. This organization is more than willing to assist any Indian citizen, viz. artisan, technician, engineer, architect, doctor, scientist, housewife, student, farmer or jointly with sponsoring/collaborating organizations involved in technology development and promotion of start-ups possessing protected/licensed IP and R&D institutions. They also have special programs to encourage women innovators in the field. They focus on providing grants for:

• creating lab model/computer model
• converting invention into a working prototype
• carrying out value added work such as product features, protection by patenting, aesthetic design etc.
• enhancing product features, IP protection, limited production for test marketing
• promoting international technology transfer and trade including exports of technologies, projects, services and technology intensive products

These grants vary from INR 75,000 up to INR 1 crore.

Currently they have invited proposals for their scheme titled Patent Acquisition and Collaborative Research and Technology Development (PACE) which would focus on providing assistance for acquisition, protection and exploitation to Indian profit-making industries more than 3 years old, in India as well as territories outside India (PCT, USPTO, EPO, Japan, Australia, China, Korea). These funds will be provided on a loan basis (upto 50% of the project value) which will have to be paid back in 5 equal installments after 1 year of completion or commercialization of the project, whichever occurs first. The last deadline to approach them with proposals in this regard is the 30th of April, 2014. For further details please refer here.

Watch this space for more information on financial assistance provided by the government or other organizations to encourage development of innovation.

For more information on BananaIP’s IP Services, please click here.

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