DeitY funds SMEs for filing international patents

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In spite of this highly beneficial scheme, only 32 companies have filed patent applications in four years and only eight of them have managed to receive funds under DeitY’s SIP-EIT scheme

Government PolicyInnovation involves turning ideas into manufacturable and marketable products or processes which then need to be patented. However, obtaining a patent is a lengthy as well as an expensive procedure.

To encourage innovators and inventors in the electronics and IT domain to file and get patents, the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) had started a scheme called the ‘Support International Patent Protection in Electronics and IT’ (SIP-EIT) in 2008, with the objective to help SMEs and technology startups in particular to file for patents. According to a DeitY official, obtaining international patents help domestic SMEs to fight back and compete with global companies in the arena of electronics, IT and technology. “It is important to recognise the value and capabilities of global IP, which will help domestic players to capture growth opportunities in these areas,” he says.

Benefits of this scheme

There are enormous costs incurred during patent processing which include attorney fees, patent office filing fees, examination fees, patent search costs, etc. The SIP-EIT scheme offers applicants a maximum support of Rs 150 million or 50 per cent of the total cost of applying for a patent, whichever is less. To avail this benefit, it is mandatory for an applicant (company) to be from the electronics and IT domain and also the invention must be in the electronics and ICT technology segment only.

So far, 32 companies which have filed 42 patent applications, have also applied for assistance from DeitY for funds from the SIP-EIT scheme but only eight companies have been successful in receiving financial assistance. Hence, it is very important for SMEs to follow the guidelines laid down by DeitY in order to qualify for the financial grant.

Eligibility criteria for SIP-EIT

There are basically two major eligibility criteria for availing the benefits of this scheme. First, if the SME is engaged in the production of goods, the investment in plant and machinery should not exceed Rs 100 million. If the SME is engaged in rendering services, the investment in plant and machinery should not exceed Rs 50 million. Apart from this, the SME should either have an inhouse R&D laboratory certified by the Department of Scientific & Industrial Research (DSIR) or should be registered under government technology incubation enterprise.

Applicants should provide complete details about their company and invention in the first application. If the details provided meet the eligibility and acceptance criteria as well as the patentability criteria in order to be considered for support, the reimbursement process is initiated immediately. “This is not at all a complicated process but not many companies have been able to meet the acceptance criteria. Most of the companies fail to avail the grant as many of them are neither DSIR certified nor registered with the government,” shares a source at DeitY.

Before availing the grant, companies need to submit the following list of documents to DeitY:

  • Application form (information about the applicant and invention)
  • Reimbursement details (as per the format in application form)
  • Patent search report
  • Product brochure (if any)
  • A copy of the applicant’s company registration document
  • A copy of official filing with the Indian patent office
  • The latest annual report of the company.
  • Proof of DSIR recognition of the applicant firm’s inhouse R&D set up or proof of government supported incubation enterprise
  • The declaration (as given in the application form)

For the application form and details, visit or download it from www.mit.gov.in

—By Richa Chakravarty

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