IPR is important for SMEs too | SupportBiz

Managing Growth

IPR is important for SMEs too

‘Intellectual property rights’ is an area where most entrepreneurs find themselves confused. SMEs need to be educated in this area. An engineering graduate from The Thapar Institute of Technology, Anant Kataria, co-founder and director, Sagacious Research is working in this area aggressively.

Co-founder Tarun Bansal is closely working with the Federation of Small and Medium Industries (FISMI), to reach out to SMEs on the IPR issue. Talking to SupportBiz, Kataria shared some key insights on IPR and its relevance for Indian businesses. Edited excerpts:

What is the IPR scenario in India? How far are we from the western countries?

We must say that we are much behind the developed countries in the IPR scenario. IPR is valued very highly in the developed countries. In the US, companies usually have well defined processes for applying for IPR and for conducting research in this area. In India, the level of awareness is poor. People do not understand the value of intellectual property for their products.

Now, there has been some action in this space with newer companies getting serious about this area. Some startups from India are eyeing international markets and they consider it important for them to safeguard their IPRs.

Are SMEs looking at IPR to further their business prospects?

The awareness has to be more aggressive. In segments like the pharmaceutical and electronics industry, entrepreneurs have acknowledged the impact and relevance of IPR in their business. Hence they give proper importance to this subject. But the overall awareness is low. The co-founder of my company is actively working with FISMI in order to reach out to SMEs that needed information on IPR and related matters.

What is the critical element in the IPR issue?

The most critical factor in the subject of IPR is research and timely action. These two things are very important in registering the patent. One has to have full knowledge about the subject and its surroundings.

What is the process and cost involved in obtaining an IPR registration?

The IPR registration happens through the office of the Controller General of Patents. The documents that need to be submitted in the IPR application must be thoroughly checked. This can be done by a patent agent or a law firm. In India, there are two broad levels of categorization in the registration of IPR – individual user and company. Once the application is submitted then it needs approval from an examination process. The entire process might take two to three years of time. If there are no objections raised in the examination process then the cost of this patent application could be around Rs. 40,000 to Rs. 1 lakh. However, the government’s fee for registering a patent is low.

What are the key challenges in the acceptance of IPR?

The process is not challenge in India. The bigger challenge is people’s mindset. Moreover, the cost of registering a patent in India is comparatively very low as compared to the same in other developed countries. Awareness is required about the relevance and importance of IPR for any business.