Good news for entrepreneurs! Govt to bear patent cost, relax procurement norms for startups


New Delhi: To encourage young entrepreneurs and innovation, government has decided to bear the entire cost of facilitation for filing of patents, trademarks or designs as well as relaxed public procurement norms for start-ups.
As per the action plan announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday, the start-ups would only have to pay the statutory fees.

“The central government shall bear the entire fees of the facilitators for any number of patents, trademarks or designs that a startup may file, and the start-ups shall bear the cost of only the statutory fees payable,” the action plan said.

The move is aimed at promoting awareness and adoption of intellectual property rights (IPRs) by start-ups and facilitate them in protecting and commercialising those rights.

Experts said that the incentives given by the government for IPR related things would help the start-ups in filing more number of patents, trademarks and designs.

“This will be an incentive for start-ups to engage in innovation and also for protection of their intellectual

property rights,” National Intellectual Property Organisation (NIPO) President T C James said.

The action plan says that a panel of facilitators would be empaneled by the Controller General of Patents Designs and Trademark. Facilitators will be responsible for providing general advisory on different IPRs as also information on protecting and promoting IPRs in other countries.

They would provide assistance in filing and disposal of the IP applications related to patents, trademarks and designs including appearing on behalf of startup hearings and contesting opposition, if any, by other parties, till final disposal of the IPR application.

The government has also decided to provide an 80 per cent rebate in filing of patents vis-a-vis other companies. This will help them pare costs in the crucial formative years.

“The scheme is being launched initially on a pilot basis for one year; based on the experience gained, further steps shall be taken,” it said.

The government has also decided to relax norms for public procurement for start-ups.

In order to promote start-ups, government would exempt them in the manufacturing sector from the criteria of “prior experience/turnover” without any relaxation in quality standards or technical parameters.

Further, the government announced a credit guarantee fund for ensuring risk cover in case of default of debt provided by venture capital funds.

As per the action plan, Rs 2,000 crore credit guarantee fund would be available for startups.

The government also announced steps to reduce the regulatory burden on startups thereby allowing them to focus on their core business and keep compliance cost low.

“In case of environment laws, startups which fall under the ‘white category’ (as defined by the Central Pollution Control Board) would be able to self-certify compliance and only random checks would be carried out in such cases,” it said.

The action plan said that the process of conducting inspections shall be made more meaningful and simple.

“Start-ups shall be allowed to self-certify compliance (through the startup mobile app) with 9 labour and environment laws. In case of the labour laws, no inspections will be conducted for a period of 3 years,” it said.

Start-ups may be inspected on receipt of credible and verifiable complaint of violation, filed in writing and

approved by at least one level senior to the inspecting officer, the action plan said.

Startup India is intended to build an ecosystem for nurturing innovation and startups in India.

Through this action plan, the government hopes to accelerate the start-up movement from existing tier 1 to tier 2 and tier 3 cities and from digital/technology sector to a wide array of sectors including agriculture, manufacturing, healthcare and education.



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