How the government is building awareness on Intellectual Property Rights for small businesses

By Rishabh Mansur
October 07, 2019, Updated on : Thu Apr 08 2021 08:58:00 GMT+0000
How the government is building awareness on Intellectual Property Rights for small businesses
Here's a quick look at some of the major and minor activities undertaken by the Government in building awareness on intellectual property rights for small businesses.
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Intellectual Property (IP) can be a key factor in the road to success for startups and SMEs. It plays a role in enhancing the competitiveness of technology businesses and facilitates the taking of technology products to market.

Issues about intellectual property rights (IPRs) have become critical for the sustainability of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in their attempts at achieving a competitive advantage.

To encourage creative intellectual endeavour in the economy, the Government of India has been making attempts at improving the IP culture in India by building awareness on IPR. It recently proposed to reduce fees for various intellectual property rights like patents and designs for MSMEs and startups.

As per the proposal, fees for MSMEs and startups for filing of patent applications will be reduced to Rs 1,600 or Rs 1,750 from Rs 4,000 or Rs 4,400.

The Government is also working to take measures to protect ideas, technological innovation and knowledge-driven business strategies developed by MSMEs.

Here's a quick look at some of the major and minor activities undertaken by the Government in this regard and the financial outlay they entail:


Activities under Building Awareness on Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) for MSMEs. (Source: DC, MSME)

Implementation of the scheme is reviewed and monitored by a Project Monitoring and Advisory Committee (PMAC) chaired by the AS & DC, MSME.

National Monitoring and Implementing Unit (NMIU), an expert organisation or a group of consultants, is also responsible for facilitating, implementation and monitoring of the scheme. It monitors every stage of the programme on behalf of the Development Commissioner (MSME).

Major components of the scheme

Financial assistance on grant of patent/registration under geographical indications of goods/trademarks

Eligibility Criteria for Patent, Geographical Indication (GI) and Trademark Reimbursement:

For reimbursement of actual costs or expenses incurred towards registration of patents or trademarks, from the Office of Development Commissioner (MSME), Ministry of MSME, Government of India, the applicant/entity/unit must have a valid Udyog Aadhar/UAM and registered at MSME- Data bank.

Patents/trademarks filled/registered in the name of individuals are also eligible for reimbursement, subject to holding a valid Udyog Aadhar/UAM.

For reimbursement of actual costs or expenses incurred towards registration of GI, the agency, institutions, associations, institutes, non-profit bodies, NGOs, societies, trusts, or similar other noncommercial bodies, and other entities which might not have Udyog Aadhar, should provide relevant incorporation/establishment documents and PAN number of entity.

How To Apply:

Applicants can apply for reimbursements through the online portal of MSME i.e. by furnishing all the relevant details and uploading the necessary supporting documents. All applications received through online portal will be allocated to the concerned Implementing Agency for scrutiny, approval, and release of funds to reimburse the expenditure incurred towards grant of patent, trademarks, and geographical indications. In case of disputes, such cases may be forwarded to the Office of Development Commissioner for seeking any relaxation on the basis of merit of the case, if required.

MSME IPFCs, MSME Development Institutes, TCs, such other organisations/institutes/departments of the State Government as are nominated by them would act as facilitators and help the applicants in guiding and handholding for reimbursement procedures and online application submissions.

Assistance for setting up IP facilitation centre for MSME

The primary objective of setting up of IP Facilitation Centres (IPFCs) is to guide MSMEs, stakeholders, and other target beneficiaries for proper utilization of IP tools and technologies, that promote improved management of intellectual property needs in competitive business environment. The specific objectives of the centre are according to the office of the DC, MSME:

  1. To provide support and facilities for searching/mapping etc. for IPRs including evaluation for possibility of registration for patents, industrial designs, trademarks, etc.
  2. To provide basic information and support about filing an IP application for grant/registration of patent, GI, industrial design, trademarks, copyright, PVP etc.
  3. To facilitate IPR transfer and commercialisation of technologies.
  4. To facilitate collaboration with potential clients for exploring possibilities for technology tie-ups and upscaling needs of any business enterprise.
  5. To provide and disseminate information on best IPR practices.
  6. To provide guidance in filing applications with national/international agencies and execution of other documents concerning to licensing, technology transfer agreements etc.
  7. To advise beneficiaries on legal remedies available on issues such as IPR infringement, duplication of IPRs such as patent/ TM/industrial designs etc.
  8. To conduct research and empirical/pilot studies on issues related IPRs.

These Centres are supposed to work in close association with the National Patent Offices/Regional Patent Offices and other National/International Agencies administering the implementation of IPR related matters.

Click here for more information on IP facilitation centres and the overall scheme.

(Edited by: Palak Agarwal)