The number of trademark applications filed by startups and registered represented only a minuscule part of the overall trademark applications in India.
The number of trademark applications filed by startups in India under the Startup India scheme has grown to 14,252, as of March 14, 2021, according to government data. From four applications filed and two registered during the first year (2016-17) of the scheme, startups have 6,630 applications registered so far (46.5 per cent of filed applications), showed data from the Indian Patent office. The year-on-year growth in applications filed and registered has also been significant. 6,092 applications have already been filed in 2020-21 so far, up from 4,130 applications filed in 2019-20 and 2,596 filed in 2018-19 while the registered application base has jumped from 1,789 in 2018-19 to 2,428 in 2019-20. As of March 14, 2021, the number of registered applications during the current financial year stood at 1,319, according to an analysis of data from the DPIIT 2020-21 annual report.
However, startup trademark filing and registration represented only a minuscule part of the overall numbers. As per the Indian Patent Office FY19 report – latest available on its portal, 3,23,798 trademark applications were filed in India by businesses across sizes in comparison to 2,596 startup applications (0.8 per cent). Likewise, the number of overall trademark registrations during the stood at 3,16,798 of which 1,789 applications (0.56 per cent) belonged to startups.
“The Government of India has been taking various legislative and policy reforming steps to strengthen the Intellectual Property Rights regime in the country keeping in view our developmental needs…statutory fees paid for trademark applications filed by a startup has been reduced to 50 per cent vis-à-vis large entities. A further concession of 10 per cent in prescribed fee is provided for online filing of applications,” said Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal in a written reply to a question on startup trademark applications in the Lok Sabha recently. As of February 28, 2021, 13,703 trademark applications filed by startups have availed the benefit of a reduced fee, according to Goyal.
The government had also announced the Scheme for Facilitating Startups Intellectual Property Protection in 2016 to help startups in filing and subsequent processing of their applications. The scheme was later extended till March 2023. The government bears the cost of the facilitator who assists startups to file patents, trademarks, or designs. As of February 28, 2021, over 900 facilitators were registered with the office of Controller General of Patents, Design, and Trademarks of which 392 were registered for facilitation for trademarks under the Scheme, Goyal added. As of December 31, 2020, 2,546 applications were been filed by startups through facilitators.