Guide to starting an innovation-based start-upMay 3, 2022 By Dinesh Parmar
One of the main success scores for any start-up is their unique and new idea that acts as the motivating factor. By effectively putting their ideas into action, small businesses expand and become larger organisations. Intellectual property (IP) rights exist to protect the ideas that are at the heart of a corporation. The organisation's capacity to compete in the market is supported by its well-defined and protected ideas, which are aided even more by the fact that it is a start-up that provides specialty services at a lower cost. These well-protected intellectual property rights serve as a valuable asset to the company, increasing its economic value. In order to get a business off the ground and on the road to success, it is also necessary to go forward with the start-up company registration process.
After the value of intellectual property rights has been recognised among start-ups, the next critical question is which IP to use and to what extent. A distinctive logo is widely recognised as one of the first and most appealing qualities of a start-up. This attracts trademark law features in order to safeguard the company from other businesses infringing on their newly developed logo. Furthermore, the novelty associated with a well-patented invention generated by a start-up draws investors. When a start-up's ideas are written down in the form of an original artistic or literary work, they are immediately protected by copyright law.
The following guide provides an insight into which IP regime is best suited for your start-up:
1. To protect your Innovations - Patents
A startup that has developed a technical solution to a problem might think about obtaining a patent for it. A solution must be novel, innovative, and useful to be eligible for a patent. If someone else has already filed a patent application for the same or a comparable solution, the startup's idea or product may not be considered novel, and patent protection may be denied. As a result, doing a patent search during the early phases of a startup's inception would assist in reducing this risk. Hence, a startup that is considering filing for a patent should do it as soon as possible so as to avoid the risk of disclosure even by itself.
Some firms prefer to wait until the final version of a product is available before filing for a patent. Waiting until this point, however, may result in the startup's downfall because other competitors may be on the cusp of patenting a comparable or identical innovation.
As a result, patents are one of the first stages in protecting one's technical innovation.
2. Distinguishing your product in the market - Trademarks
Trademark rights can be secured by filing a trademark registration application. Unregistered trademarks that are simply used in commerce can be protected in some countries. Having a registered trademark, on the other hand, provides the most comprehensive protection, and registration is the most secure means to establish a brand image, consumer confidence, and goodwill.
Trademarks aid in the protection of a startup from the start by allowing it to seek protection for an appealing logo that attracts the market's attention. Trademark registration for start-ups can be done at any time during the process, or as soon as the items are placed on store shelves or brought to the notice of customers. Its is advisable that before adopting any trademark you must understand about how to select trademark.
Read More – How to select – choose or create trademark
Obtaining trademark registration for start-ups through domain names at an early stage also mitigates the possibility of a phenomenon known as "cybersquatting" in the age of the internet of things and everything becoming digital. When a registered domain name is banned or held for ransom until the trademark holder agrees to pay a fee, this is known as cybersquatting. As a result, properly registering a trademark benefits start-ups in both acquiring customers early on and safeguarding their own worth in both digital and physical arenas.
3. Attractive Designs and Packaging - Designs
Products and packaging with appealing designs are more enticing and visible in the marketplace. Many functionally equivalent items compete nowadays on the basis of their visual appeal, and brand loyalty is frequently based on a combination of trademark and design. When it comes to bringing a product to market, companies should strive for and defend a distinctive and appealing design.
A design must be innovative or original in order to qualify for protection. It is critical to ensure that designs are not revealed prior to the filing of a registration application. A design may be disqualified from protection due to prior disclosure because it is no longer novel.
The Patents Act of 1970, the Trademarks Act of 1999, and the Designs Act of 2000 all provide comprehensive protection for new businesses.
SIPP Scheme in India
The "Scheme for Facilitating Start-ups Intellectual Property Protection (SIPP)" was established in 2016 to encourage and facilitate the protection of intellectual property rights by start-ups, and it has now been extended until March 2023.
It enables start-ups to file patent, design, and trademark applications through registered facilitators at applicable IP offices for merely the statutory fees. This programme was created to reach out to start-ups to safeguard and promote their intellectual property rights (IPR), thereby encouraging entrepreneurship and innovation. The SIPP's main goal is to raise awareness of intellectual property rights and help start-ups acquire them. The programme also aims to support and mentor start-ups with innovative and emerging technology. By offering access to high-quality IP services and resources, start-ups can protect and commercialise their intellectual property rights.
Benefits of the SIPP scheme for Start-ups:
(a) The Scheme for Facilitating Start-Ups Intellectual Property Protection (SIPP) was established to raise awareness and support IPR protection among start-ups.
(b) The government would pay minor professional fees to the advocates or trademark agents in charge of the IPR process for services linked to obtaining Intellectual Property Rights (IPR).
(c) Under this SIPP scheme, start-ups can get a full range of services from beginning to end, including general advice, assistance in drafting applications, preparing and filing responses to examination reports, appearing at hearings, contesting opposition, and ensuring that the Intellectual Property Rights application is finally resolved.
It is not only a recommendation, but a must for a startup's success and growth in the marketplace to use intellectual property. One of the first stages for a startup to assess where its business is headed is to engage a well-versed trademark attorney - Intellectual Property Law firm, and the registration procedure could be streamlined and made simple using this strategy.