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Start-Ups Intellectual Property Protection (SIPP)

Updated on:  

08 min read

The government launched the Start-ups Intellectual Property Protection (SIPP) scheme in 2016 to facilitate the startups to file applications for designs, patents and trademarks through registered facilitators. The SIPP scheme was initially in force till 31.03.2017. It was extended for three years until 31.03.2020 and further extended for another three years, i.e. from 01.04.2020 to 31.03.2023. 

The office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks (CGPDTM) implements the SIPP scheme. The CGPDTM provides facilitators to startups for filing and processing their applications for designs, patents and trademarks. 

The registered facilitators under this scheme will help the startups file their Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) applications in the appropriate Intellectual Property (IP) Offices by paying only the statutory fees. The office of the CGPDTM will reimburse the professional charges of the facilitators.

Objective of SIPP

The SIPP scheme aims to promote adoption and awareness about the IPRs among startups. It is inclined to mentor and nurture innovative and emerging technologies and assists startups to protect and commercialise their innovations by providing them access to high-quality IP resources and services. It encourages and facilitates the filing of the IPR applications by the startups, thus promoting creativity and innovation among them.

Eligibility Criteria for SIPP

Any startup that fulfils the following conditions are eligible to file an application for their IPR through facilitators under this scheme:

  • An entity registered or incorporated in India for up to seven years. However, for the startups in the biotechnology sector, the period will be up to ten years.
  • Startups having an annual turnover of up to Rs.25 crore in a financial year.
  • Startups working towards development, deployment, innovation or commercialisation of new processes, products or services driven by intellectual property or technology.

However, the entities formed by the reconstruction or splitting up of an already existing business are not eligible for this scheme. The startups must have a Certificate of Recognition issued by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP). However, they need not obtain a certificate of eligible business issued by the Inter-Ministerial Board of Certification.

Facilitators Under SIPP

The CGPDTM shall empanel facilitators for the effective implementation of the SIPP scheme. The CGPDTM regulates the functions and conduct of the empanelled facilitators. The following entities can be a facilitator:

  • Trademark agents registered with the CGPDTM. 
  • Patent agents registered with the CGPDTM. 
  • Any advocate defined under the Advocates Act, 1961, entitled to practice law under the rules laid down by the Bar Council of India and is actively involved in the filing and disposal of trademark applications. 
  • A government organisation, agency, department or Central Public Sector Undertaking (CPSU) like TIFAC, NRDC, BIRAC, MeitY, CSIR, etc.

However, the IP application needs to be signed by a person authorised to do so under the relevant Act and Rules.

Functions and Duties of Facilitators

The following are the functions of the facilitators as decided by the CGPDTM: 

  • Providing general advisory on the various IPRs to startups on a pro bono basis. 
  • Providing information on the protection and promotion of IPRs to startups in other countries on a pro bono basis.
  • Assisting in disposal and filing of the IP applications related to designs, patents and trademarks under the respective Acts at the national IP Offices under the CGPDTM. 
  • Drafting complete and provisional patent specifications for the inventions of startups. 
  • Filing and preparing responses to examination reports and other notices, queries or letters by the IP Office.
  • Appearing on behalf of the startups at scheduled hearings. 
  • Contesting opposition filed by other parties, if any.
  •  Ensuring final disposals of the IPR applications.

Fees of Facilitators for Filing Applications

The following fees structure applies to the empanelled facilitators for the patents, trademarks or designs applications filed by them on behalf of a startup:

Stage of PaymentPatent (INR)Trademark (INR)Design (INR)
At the time of filing the application10,0002,0002,000
At the time of final disposal of the application (without any opposition)10,0002,0002,000
At the time of final disposal of the application (with any opposition)15,0004,0004,000

The facilitator will not charge any amount from the startups or the entrepreneurs for filing the IPR application. However, the startup itself shall bear the statutory fees payable for each design, patent or trademark applied by it under this scheme.

The facilitator can claim the fees from the IP Office as per the stage of work completion. A self-declaration from the concerned startup that they have not obtained funds under any other government scheme to pay the facilitator, trademark agent or patent agent for filing and prosecuting their IP application should accompany the bill for the claim of fees by a facilitator. 

When the application is abandoned or withdrawn before its disposal, the facilitator will receive the fees only for filing the application and not for its disposal. When claiming reimbursement of fees, the facilitator must submit an invoice to the concerned IP Office having the registration number obtained from the DIPP for the startup whose IP application is filed by him/her.

Procedure for Filing Application for IPR by Startups Under SIPP

The procedure for filing design, patent or trademark applications by the startups under the SIPP through the facilitators are mentioned below.

Procedure for Filing Patent Application by a Startup Under SIPP

The startups wanting to file a patent application under this scheme can select a facilitator from the list of facilitators available on the official website of CGPDTM. The startups can directly contact the facilitator to prepare and file the application under the SIPP scheme.

The facilitator will file a patent specification at the respective patent Office on behalf of the startup as per the prescribed procedures under the Patent Act and Rules after assessing the invention’s patentability. 

After filing the patent specification to the respective Patent Office, the facilitator will monitor the application and perform the further steps of proceedings, prepare the reply to any query from the Patent Office and attend the hearings.

Procedure for Filing Designs Application by a Startup Under SIPP

The startups wanting to file a design application under this scheme can select a facilitator from the list of facilitators available on the official website of CGPDTM. The startups can directly contact the facilitator to prepare and file the application under the SIPP scheme. 

The facilitator will file the design application to the Design Office on behalf of the startup as per the prescribed procedures under the Design Act and Rules. The facilitator will monitor the application and prepare a reply to any query from the Design Office.

Procedure for Filing Trademark Application by a Startup Under SIPP

The startups wanting to file a trademark application under this scheme can select a facilitator from the list of facilitators available on the official website of CGPDTM. The startups can directly contact the facilitator to prepare and file the application under the SIPP scheme.

The facilitator will file the trademark application to the respective Trademark Registry on behalf of the startup as per the prescribed procedures under the Trademark Act and Rules. The facilitator will monitor the application, prepare a reply to any query from the Trademark Office and attend hearings.

Disclaimer: The materials provided herein are solely for information purposes. No attorney-client relationship is created when you access or use the site or the materials. The information presented on this site does not constitute legal or professional advice and should not be relied upon for such purposes or used as a substitute for legal advice from an attorney licensed in your state.

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