INDIAN PERSPECTIVE ON TRADE MARK REGISTRATION FOR START-UPS
Over the past few years, the term ‘Start-up’ is doing the rounds around us. With ‘Start-up India Scheme’ being introduced by the Government of India in the year 2016, many young entrepreneurs have been encouraged to set off their businesses. However, in order to gain market presence and flourish in the commerce, protection of Intellectual Property becomes crucial for start-ups and at the same time plays a very significant role to make their presence felt in the market and also to sustain in the competition.
The Government of India has introduced a number of benefits to start-ups with an objective of providing support to protect their Trade Marks, Ideas, Designs or any other Intellectual Property. Some of the benefits being offered by the Government to Start-ups in protecting their trade marks are enumerated herein below:
REBATE ON OFFICIAL FEES
The Government offers a rebate of fifty percent on official fees for filing trade marks for Start-ups or small scale industries. Further, a rebate on filing request for expedited processing of application is also being offered by the Government thus reducing their overall expenses in the initial years and at the same time providing aid in speedy processing of their application.
REBATE ON E-FILLING OF APPLICATIONS
In addition to rebate on statutory filing fees for Start-ups and small scale enterprises, the Government offers a further discount of ten percent on the official fee for filing applications online when compared to the physical filing of applications.
SCHEME FOR FACILITATING START-UPS
A Scheme for facilitating ‘Start-ups Intellectual Property Protection’, popularly known as the “SIPP Scheme”, has been introduced by the Government in order to help young entrepreneurs to have their trademarks or other Intellectual Property protected. The Government has empanelled Trade Mark Practitioners and Registered Trade Mark Agents as Facilitators under this Scheme who not only facilitate Start-ups in obtaining registration for their brands but also provide support in protecting and enforcing their trade mark rights. Under this scheme, the Start-ups are required to pay only the statutory fees while the entire facilitation costs are borne by the Government.
The Government has also been endeavoring to reduce the total turn-around time to obtain trademark registration. The Government offers the facility of filing a request for an expeditious processing of application up to the grant of trade mark registration. Further, a rebate of fifty percent on the official fees is also offered to Start-ups and small scale enterprises for filing such request.
Start-ups have a limited number of resources, and therefore, it sometimes becomes an impediment for them to protect their business identity, to position their product and / or services and to gain reputation in the market. Thus, by offering benefits to the young entrepreneurs, the Government has taken significant steps in promoting the establishment and growth of Start-ups as well as facilitating registration and protection of their Intellectual Property in a speedy manner and at significantly reduced costs.