Scheme for Facilitating Start-Ups Intellectual Property Protection (SIPP)

Scheme for Facilitating Start-Ups Intellectual Property Protection (SIPP)

The Government of India to encourage start-ups, launched the Scheme for Facilitating Start-Ups Intellectual Property Protection (SIPP). This scheme was initiated to reach out to start-ups and protect and promote their Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and thus encourage innovation and creativity among entrepreneurs. The Scheme was started on a pilot basis in January 2016 and was in force up to March 2020. The Department of promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has notified that the SIPP scheme is now being extended further for a period of three years that is up to March 31, 2023.

Objective of the SIPP

  • The primary objective of the SIPP is to promote awareness and acquire of Intellectual Property Rights among the Start-Ups.
  • The scheme also aims to nurture and mentor innovative and emerging technologies among Start-Ups
  • To assist Start-Ups in protecting and commercialize Intellectual Property Rights by providing access to high-quality IP services and resources.

SIPP Benefits for Start-Ups

  • To promote awareness and encourage IPR protection amongst Start-Ups the Scheme for Facilitating Start-Ups Intellectual Property Protection (SIPP) launched.
  • Start-ups can avail patent, trademark, and design services by paying them only required statutory fees and professional fees are excluded as part of the SIPP scheme.
  • The Government would pay nominal professional fees for the services related to procuring the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) to the advocates or trademark agents in charge of handling the IPR process.
  • Start-ups can avail of a complete start-to-end array of services under this SIPP scheme, including general advice, assistance in drafting applications, preparing and filing responses to examination reports, appearing at hearings, contest opposition and ensuring the final disposal of the Intellectual Property Rights application.
  • For effective implementation of the scheme, the DPIIT has empanelled several facilitators, who are required to provide IPR related services to Start-Ups.
  • As per the scheme, facilitators will not charge anything from a Start-Up. The fees are paid directly by the government.

As per the revised guidelines, the Start-Ups enrolled under this scheme will not be required to obtain a certificate of an eligible business from the Inter-Ministerial Board of Certification.

Start-Ups Eligibility Criteria for SIPP

To avail the benefit of the SIPP scheme, companies have to be recognized as Start-Ups by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) under the Start-Up India initiative. Start-Ups recognized by DIPP can avail Intellectual property Rights (IPR) related benefits such as the SIPP scheme.

The Start-Up must meet the following eligibility criteria to avail the DPIIT Certificate of Recognition:

  • The Period of existence and operations of the Start-Ups should not exceed 10 years from the date of formation
  • The DPIIT Certificate of Recognition is provided for the Start-Ups which is incorporated as a Private Limited Company, a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP), or a Registered Partnership Firm.
  • The entity should have an annual turnover of Rs. 100 crore for any of the financial years since its federation
  • To get DPIIT Certificate of Recognition, the company should not have been incorporated by splitting up or recreating an already existing entity.
  • The entity should be working towards the development of a product, process, or service.
  • The entity should have a scalable business model with high potential for the creation of wealth and employment. The firm should have the potential to generate employment or create wealth.

Know more about the procedure to avail the DPIIT Certificate of Recognition for Startups

  • The Certificate of Recognition given by DPIIT may be verified from the Start-Up India web portal
  • The Start-Ups covered under this scheme will not be required to obtain a certificate of an eligible business from the Inter-Ministerial Board of Certification.
  • However, Start-Ups will be required to give a self-declaration that they have not availed funds under any other Government scheme to pay the facilitator, patent agent, trademark agent for filing, and prosecute their IP application.

Empanelment of Facilitators

For effective implementation of the scheme, the DPIIT has empanelled several facilitators, who are required to provide IPR related services to startups. As mentioned above, the facilitators should not charge anything from the startup and the fees are paid directly by the government.

The facilitators will be empanelled by the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks (CGPDTM). The CGPDTM will revise the list of eligible facilitators for SIPP scheme from time to time. The startups can check the list of facilitators from the official website of DPIIT.

Eligible Facilitator

  • Any Trademark Agent registered with the CGPDTM
  • Any Patent 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 Bar Council of India, who is well-versed with the provisions of the relevant Acts and Rules, and is actively involved in filing and disposal of applications for trademarks.
  • A government department, organization, agency or CPSU (like TIFAC, NRDC, BIRAC, MeitY, CSIR, Patent Information Centers (PICs) through an authorized representative; and Technology and Innovation Centers (TISCs)

Note: However, it is to be clarified that the IP application has to be signed by a person authorized to do so under the provisions of the relevant Act and Rules.

Responsibility for Facilitators

Facilitators will be responsible for the following functions as per the Scheme for Facilitating Start-Ups Intellectual Property Protection (SIPP).

  • Facilitators will have to give general advisory on different intellectual property rights (IPR) to Startups on pro bono basis
  • Providing information on protecting and promoting IPRs to Startups in other countries on pro bono basis
  • The facilitator will assist in filing and disposal of the IP applications related to patents, trademarks and design at the national IP offices under the CGPDTM
  • Drafting provisional and complete patent specifications for inventions of Startups
  • The facilitator is required to prepare and file responses to examination reports and other queries, notices or letters by the IP office
  • Appearing on behalf of a startup at hearings
  • Contesting opposition, if any, by other parties
  • Ensuring final disposal of the IPR application

Duration of the SIPP Scheme

As mentioned above, The Scheme for Facilitating Start-Ups Intellectual Property Protection (SIPP) shall be applicable for 3 years with effect from 1st April 2020.

Fees for Patents, Designs, and Trademarks Application

The fee structure tabulated here will be applicable for any number of patents, trademarks, or designs that may be applied for by a Startup.

The facilitator will not charge anything from the Startup or the entrepreneur, and these fees will be paid directly to the facilitator by the Government through the office of the CGPDTM and disbursed by the respective IP office.

Sl.No

Stage of Payment Patent Trademark

Design

1

At the time of filing of Application 10,000 2,000 2,000

2

At the time of final disposal of Application Without Opposition 10,000 2,000 2,000
3 With Opposition 15,000 4,000 4,000

Payment of Fees to Facilitators

A facilitator can claim the fee from the IP office as per the stage of work completed.

The bill for the claim of the fee shall be accompanied by the self-declaration from the concerned startup that it has not availed of funds from any other Government scheme to pay the facilitator/patent agent/trademark agent for filing and prosecute their IP application.

If an application is withdrawn or abandoned before disposal of application, the facilitator shall be entitled to fees only for filing of the application and not for the disposal of the application.

For claiming the reimbursement of fees, the facilitator needs to submit an invoice to the respective IP Office mentioning the Registration Number obtained from DPIIT for the startup in respect of which the IP application is filed by the facilitator.

In the case of a Trademark application, final disposal of the application implies the registration of the Trademark

Statutory Fees

The startup needs to pay the statutory fees for patent, trademark, or design applied.

Procedure for filing application for Patents, Designs, and Trademarks

In respect to the Scheme for Facilitating Start-Ups Intellectual Property Protection (SIPP), the procedure to be adopted for applying for Patents, Designs, and Trademarks is as follows:

Procedure for Patent Application

The start-Ups willing to file a patent application can select the facilitator and the list facilitators are available in the official website of CGPDTM

Startups can contact him/her directly for the preparation of the SIPP scheme application. If startups are unable to select a facilitator, contact the Head office of the respective patent officer, get 3 names of facilitator and select the name of the facilitator from the three.

The facilitator after assessing the patentability of the invention and other aspects as per Patents Act and Rules and being satisfied that the patent application will be After that, the Facilitator will file a complete Patent specification at the appropriate Patent Office on behalf of the start-up as per jurisdiction by following the prescribed procedure under the Patent Act and Rules.

Fee for filing a patent application and other statutory fees will be borne from the startup.

After a patent application is received by the Patent Office, the facilitator can submit the claim for fees as per the fee schedule mentioned above. Furnish the following documents for fee reimbursement.

  • A letter addressed to the Head of Office of the respective Patent Office
  • Claimed fee for the drafting of the application
  • ID proof as a Registered Patent Agent
  • Invoice

The Head of Office will verify the ID of the facilitator and ascertain the suitability of payment and arrange for the payment of a fee to the facilitator after receiving the claim from the facilitator.

Simultaneously with making the payment to the facilitator, the Head of Office will forward to the Office of the CGPDTM the details of the application and payment made to the facilitator.

The facilitator shall monitor and perform further steps of proceedings of startup’s patent application, prepare the reply to any query from Patent Office, attend the hearings.

Designs Application

For filing and processing applications for designs, the list of Facilitators for Patents will be applicable. The procedure for claiming the fees by the Facilitator, application processing will be carried out as per the designs Act and Rules, as elaborated above.

Trade Marks Application

For filing and processing applications for trademarks, the list of Facilitators for Trademarks will be applicable. After filing a trademark application for a startup as per the Trade Marks Act and Rules, the Facilitator can submit the claim for payment of fees to the respective Head of Office of the Trade Marks Registry who will follow the same procedure as mentioned above.

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