In a major development, Commerce Ministry has introduced major amendments in the Trademark Rules, to make it easier for small businesses and startups to own trademark over their intellectual properties.
Besides, Govt. wants to change the definition of ‘startup’, and soon, a website would be launched which will help Indian startups to get funding from abroad.
Trademark Rules Eased; Forms Decreased From 74 To 8
Trademark Rules 2017, which was formally notified by Ministry Of Commerce on March 6th, has simplified several rules and regulations for small businesses and startups.
The biggest two changes which we observed are:
The number of applications required for Trademark registrations have been reduced to 8 from earlier 74 for filing trademarks for intellectual properties.
Fees for application has been reduced to Rs 4500 from Rs 8,000, in the case of e-filing. Thus, in a way, Govt. is encouraging the online electronic filing of trademark filings. Besides, overall, 10% concession has been provided for electronic filing, as against physical filing of applications.
You can find all other modifications as highlighted in the official notification for Trademarks Rule 2017 here.
Govt. Will Change The Definition Of Startup
Last year, 66% of all startups which applied to Indian Govt. for receiving the ‘startup badge’ were rejected; and one of the main reasons for such massive rejection was ambiguity regarding the very definition of a startup.
In order to change this, Govt. is now considering to modify the very definition of a startup, so that more and more startups from different niches can be officially defined as a startup.
DIPP secretary Ramesh Abhishek, while giving an example, said that existing startups needs to be under 5 years old, and having a turnover of Rs 25 crore is not enough to cover other startups from other industries. In biotech niche, at least 8 years is required to even consider the establishment as a business.
He said, “We would be happy to make it even more broad-based. We are not hung up on the definition. For example, startups working in biotech, nothing happens before eight years. Maybe we can have different periods for different kinds of startups…to be much more inclusive on the ground reality,..”
The concept and definition of ‘innovation’ is also under the scanner, because due to lack of clarity, several startups are being denied the incentives because no one knows what exactly is innovation.
He said, “The innovation criteria is deliberately kept otherwise we would not have been able to differentiate between a traditional firm and a startup. We are not diluting the criteria of being innovative,”
Feedback are being sought from various industry leaders to determine the exact definition of a startup, and making it flexible enough to accommodate maximum Indian startups into it.
DIPP is also launching a new website, which will help Indian startups to get foreign funding by listing their portfolios and innovations. Entrepreneurs and startups can register on this new website after March 15th.