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DIPP Joint Secretary Rajiv Aggarwal On The IPR Evolution For Indian Startups And Its Future

DIPP Joint Secretary Rajiv Aggarwal On The IPR Evolution For Indian Startups And Its Future

The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) has been targeted to execute the Modi Government’s ‘Startup India, Stand Up India’ task. As such, the Startup India, Stand Up India venture requires the creation of startup founders who leverage highbrow property (IP) to increase activity advent and bring in extra sales for the economic system. Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) together with Patent and Trademark, are essential issues for a startup to keep its sanctity as an progressive business enterprise.

Rajiv Aggarwal, is the Joint Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce & Industry. He has been particular to ensure the protection of IP rights at the coverage stage. Working at the policy and CGO (technical and area level) has given Rajiv Aggarwal a completely unique angle with regards to the evolution of IPR in India. He recounts that he entered DIPP two years in the past. At the time, he become assigned the job at IPR (Intellectual assets rights) table and there was no looking returned. His first few months were spent holding the placement of Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks. He worked on the policy level and CGO (technical and area) which gave him an overview of each the fields.

cft recently were given a hazard to catch up with Rajiv Aggarwal, whilst he spoke to the crew drastically approximately the present IPR workflow under DIPP, rules and the manner forward.

Here are edited excerpts from our communication.

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cft: What led to the want of introducing an IPR Policy?

Rajiv Aggarwal: The authorities came up with the International IPR Policy remaining year. India has a well-mounted administrative and judicial system in place to safeguard IP rights. We realised that we've got a required paraphernalia, the necessary structure, however we want to spell out a vision. So, the coverage which changed into added remaining yr, served as a vision report for the way we would love to transport in advance.

Secondly, if we speak about IPR, we may additionally claim that they are compliant, however if the cases are not being processed in due-time, then the complete technique becomes meaningless.

Until -years-ago, there has been a huge backlog of patent and trademark programs. This become a undertaking for the branch. For instance – a patent application took 5 to seven years to be considered for the primary examination after filing. A patent’s existence is two decades from the date of utility. This complete method, even with out an competition can also take eight-10 years. This presents an unacceptable state of affairs, where half of of the patent existence is consumed in regulatory approvals. While in other countries the time period is -three years.

Manpower unavailability became one of the biggest reasons for this delay. The department did now not have enough patent examiners. The first task changed into to growth the manpower.

cft: What are the diverse tasks taken by using the IPR department in the past year?

Rajiv Aggarwal: At the essential level, to resolve the problem of loss of manpower of the branch devised and designed a two-stage examination and the responsibility was given to an impartial frame to hold the manner beneath secrecy.

Through this system, we controlled to recruit 459 new patent examiners. We earlier had a hundred thirty examiners. And now 400 of these examiners are sporting out major exam work. This has significantly accelerated the wide variety of exam reports being issued. By 2018-19 we're hoping the term of 7 to eight years will reduce up to 18 months.

Another hassle turned into at the trademark front. The examination took 13 months-15 months after filing. Through augmentation of manpower and procedure re-engineering, we have managed to lessen it to less than a month.

The second change in trademarks is set software rejection. Earlier, 90%-95% of trademark application were being objected. With training, sensitisation, and orientation the attractiveness range has been extended to 25%-30%. Trademark exam and registration for trademark went up to 4 times from 60,000 to a huge 2.Five Lakhs.

We have managed to carry down the pendency dramatically. We have also re-engineered plenty of different methods. For instance, patents had been earlier required to document a respond in a yr and now that has been reduced to 6 months. Adjournments had been restrained, sure restrictions and timelines, have been put in region. You can expedite your system if you are a startup. These modifications at the moment are being carried out.”

The government currently provides eighty% rebate to startups for utility process of patents and 50% rebate to startups below MSMEs/SMEs for a hallmark. These adjustments have helped to galvanise the startup atmosphere and push through the increase.

cft: What have been a number of the major demanding situations you confronted for the duration of your tenure at DIPP?


Rajiv Aggarwal: Undoubtedly making ready a policy is less difficult, but the implementation is difficult. There have been no essential roadblocks or impediments. I would agree that it does take time, no matter the quality of efforts.

The DIPP and other associated bodies hold ordinary interactions with their stakeholders on the way to get greater feedback. The officers have interactions and the entirety is updated on the website with out hiding some thing. This has helped us to move within the right path. So even though it takes time, if an person is moving ahead inside the right direction, it'll undergo fruit.

Changes in the change of patent guidelines ultimate year and the trademark policies this 12 months have been not a short choice. It become finished with precision. The group took loads of time to formulate the guidelines. A full month turned into spent on analysing if those regulations or modifications were really worth a shot or now not. Each comma, every phrase in those regulations can make a distinction.

cft: Under the ‘Make In India’ campaign what are the initiatives taken for IPR safety conducive to startups?

Rajiv Aggarwal: On the IP front, as already mentioned, the main mission become the method. That is something we still should address. And, optimistically, matters will get streamlined with the aid of this 12 months.

On the startups the front, the Startup India programme become released through PM Narendra Modi. We are presently looking at the troubles in the coverage and making changes on the basis of remarks. For instance, final 12 months we distinctive the definition of a startup.

The foremost problem that got here to our be aware became getting a letter of advice from an incubator became a hard challenge for startups. So, we made certain to do-away with the ‘letter of advice.’ Startups are not pretty much direction-breaking improvements. They also are about creating jobs, wealth creation, and having a scalable model. So, accordingly, the definition of startups has been tweaked.

cft: Is there an effect at the growth and strengthening of IP Rights?

Rajiv Aggarwal: There is anecdotal evidence. Yes, the effect is there, but it's far too early to do a examine to show it. As we move along, we've got created a mobile for IPR advertising and control. We have reached out to schools and the response is first rate. Then, the subsequent forestall changed into schools and universities wherein the response become greater advanced.

The branch has also facilitated these programmes in enterprise clusters. The branch is going down to fundamental levels, like the way to put together a patent application and many others. After setting up these consciousness programmes we were able to pick out the gaps. The department is now planning to preserve over four,000 recognition programmes in the subsequent 3 years, to make students and enterprise aware of their very own rights.

Secondly, we launched a programme for startups, in which if they should record a patent, trademark, layout, all they need to do is become aware of one of the facilitators. Approach any of them and fill an utility and they may prosecute it similarly. The government, presently, has about 1,000 facilitators listed on its internet site. The agent price may be paid by the government, the startups handiest need to bear the value of the statutory costs payable.

cft: Has the authorities positioned a cap on facilitator charge?

Rajiv Aggarwal: Yes, we've constant a rate. Facilitators are satisfied to be part of the initiative. Even if the amount is greater or less they may be nonetheless having customers and are also getting a chance to build loyalty.

cft:  What has the government finished for extending IPR consciousness in rural India?

Rajiv Aggarwal: When it comes to recognition on IP, for villagers, the authorities is achieving out to them via classified ads and mass media. For example – Jaago Grahak Jaago (Wake up, customer!) campaign allows to train the customer towards counterfeit products. That is also part of IP.

Apart from this, there are quite a few grassroots innovators via the National Innovation Fund or other programmes. Those are focussed companies operating in a specific zone.

The authorities is making an attempt to sell geographical warning signs wherein farmers and artisans have a first-rate stake. If they have a few expertise that has handed via generations we're trying to shield those handlooms or handicrafts through a GIS tag. (GIS is a geographic facts machine designed to seize, keep, manage, analyse, manage, and gift all varieties of geographical facts.) Once the protection is in vicinity, then the authorities focusses on linking them to the marketplace, to monetise and commercialise them.

cft: What steps has the DIPP taken to offer them with this platform?

Rajiv Aggarwal: For example, a product like Darjeeling Tea is getting marketed on its own. But, black pottery from Nizamabad cannot manage marketplace on its very own. So, the government is attaining out to e-markets to commercialise those products – via the GIS machine.

The government recently held an exhibition of these GIS products overseas to provide them a reputation. India has a number of GIS merchandise and a GIS act. A few artisans additionally accomplished live over there to showcase their expertise and it became a watch opener for the WIPO.

The high-quality part was that the villagers and artisans were given a whole lot of exposure, and controlled to apprehend the economics. They additionally controlled to make a few money out of it.

GIS product makers want to be provided with an orientation about how the market works and how to manage bills. The government is calling forward to implementing such programmes in the near destiny.

cft: Can you share a few milestones concerning the IPR gadget applied by way of the DIPP?

Rajiv Aggarwal: In the beyond two decades, there have been numerous shifts. A lot of latest acts have been brought, GIS example and a traditional know-how digital library changed into additionally delivered. The well-known haldighati, due to which the US patent on turmeric become revoked; these are some of the milestones in our adventure.

The growth of manpower, as mentioned earlier than, is also a milestone. Two years in the past, most effective 30% of patent applications have been filed. Last year, the variety shot as much as eighty%.

We have differential pricing to sell virtual submitting of patent programs. There is a 10% distinction in digital and physical utility submitting. We have added it in trademark filings as well.


Reducing trademark exam time to a month changed into also every other milestone. Patent examination to 18 months via 2018 is likewise a intention we've got set for ourselves.

Interaction with the WIPO has improved and summer time school has been planned for every body who wants to study IP. There are nonetheless plenty greater changes to come. This will take India to the next level.

With all of these rules in vicinity, startups did get a lift. As according to the most latest fame document, dated July 17, 2017, a panel of 423 facilitators for patent and layout programs and 596 facilitators for Trademarks programs has been constituted for assistance in submitting Intellectual Property (IP) packages. Overall, more than 470 Startups have benefitted from the scheme.

Talking about the destiny of IPR in India, Rajiv emphasised that Indians by means of nature are very innovative and modern. He similarly introduced that by some means, Indians instigate themselves to comply with the herd mentality. So, the dream for the DIPP could be to peer humans nurturing their streak of creativity and understand their ability. He aptly concludes with, “We do now not should blindly follow human beings. We have a great pool of talent, our ethos, and we ought to construct out ideas on those.”

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