Making something unique in today's time is a challenge. Since a lot has already been said and done, inventing that something different from the rest takes a lot of time and effort. Hence, whenever someone does manage to make something unique, they secure their invention with a patent. However, in order to do the same, they have to shell out major bucks which can be considered a little unfair. Indian authorities seems to have realised this little kink in the system and have introduced a fast-track mechanism for filing patents which will help startups get 80 per cent rebate on their patent fee.

The Indian government has even tweaked the definition of startups a little to make it more inclusive. The more liberal definition ensures that more and more startups become eligible for various benefits being handed over to startups in India, including lower fees, under the latest patent framework introduced by the authorities.

For the expedited patent registration, the startups have to pay double the fees against thrice the amount for other companies. Individuals and startups opting for the fast-track mechanism route for patent filling will be required to pay an application fee of Rs 8,000. For established companies, this fees increases to about a whopping Rs 60,000.

The new process will drastically help in cutting down the time taken for granting patents to two-and-a-half years from five to seven years immediately and to one-and-a-half years by March next year.

According to the latest notification, “A foreign entity, fulfilling the criteria for turnover and period of incorporation or registration as per Startup India Initiative” would be eligible to rake in the patent filing benefits meant for startups in the country.

Earlier, startups in India would be defined as companies that are only five years old with a maximum turnover of Rs 25 crore per year and are working towards innovation. But, this year, we have seen the government making some minor changes in the definition.

In May, in a notification sent out by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), the Indian government announced that an entity will be recognised as a startup up to seven years instead of the previous five years rule. For startups working in the biotechnology sector, this period has been extended up to 10 years.

In addition to the extended time period, the new definition also required an entity to be incorporated as a private limited company, or a partnership firm, or a limited liability partnership. Besides, its turnover should not have crossed Rs 25 crore for any of the financial years since its registration.

Further, it also stated that for an entity to be qualified as a startup it has to be working towards, "innovation, development, or improvement of products or processes or services", or it should be a scalable business with potential to generate huge employment. This means, entities that have taken birth by splitting up or restructuring existing business will not make the cut to be called as startups.

The revised rules makes way for startups growing in the Indian subcontinent eligible for an 80% rebate on their patent application fees. The DIPP has decided to take on the facilitation cost on behalf of the startups and provide them with rebates in the statutory fee for the filing of applications.

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