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Patent Filing for Startups in India

March 30, 2024
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In the dynamic and competitive world of startups, innovation serves as the backbone of success. In India, a growing hub for startups, protecting these innovations through patent filing is not just a legal formality but a strategic business decision.

This guide provides a comprehensive understanding of the patent filing process in India, tailored for the unique needs and challenges faced by startups.

The Crucial Role of Patents for Startups

Startups thrive on innovation and unique ideas. In such a scenario, patents play a crucial role in safeguarding these intellectual assets. A patent is a legal right granted by the government to an inventor, giving them the exclusive right to make, use, sell, and import their invention for a limited period. For startups, this means:

  • Exclusive Rights to Innovations: Patents provide a legal shield, preventing others from exploiting your innovative product or process without your consent.
  • Attracting Investments: Patents can significantly enhance the appeal of a startup to investors, as they serve as a testament to the novelty and potential of the innovation.
  • Competitive Edge: Having a patent can give startups a significant advantage in the market, protecting them against larger, established competitors.

Understanding India’s Patent Landscape

Navigating India’s patent landscape requires an understanding of the Patents Act, 1970, and the Patents Rules, 2003, which govern the patenting process. The Indian Patent Office, operating under the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), is responsible for patent registrations, ensuring compliance with the legal framework.

The Patent Filing Process: An Overview

Filing a patent in India involves several critical steps:

  1. Conducting a Patentability Search: Before filing a patent application, it is essential to perform a thorough search to ensure that your innovation is unique and has not been previously disclosed.
  2. Drafting and Filing the Patent Application: This step involves meticulously documenting your invention, focusing on its novelty, inventive step, and industrial applicability.
  3. Examination and Grant of Patent: After filing, the patent application undergoes an examination where its novelty and inventive step are scrutinized before the patent is granted.

If you wish to learn about the patent process in detail, please visit our article here: patent process in India.

Challenges for Startups in Patent Filing

Startups often face unique challenges in the patent filing process:

  • Resource Limitations: Many startups operate with limited resources, making the cost-intensive patenting process challenging.
  • Navigational Difficulties: The complexity of patent laws and the technical intricacies of inventions require specialized knowledge, which many startups lack.
  • Time-Consuming Process: The duration from filing a patent application to its grant can be lengthy, necessitating patience and persistence.

The Supportive Role of Startup India

The Government of India, recognizing these challenges, has initiated the ‘Startup Indiaprogram to support startups in their innovation journey. This program offers several benefits to ease the patenting process:

  • Reduced Costs: Startups can avail of subsidies and reduced fees for patent filing and processing.
  • Expedited Examination: Startups can benefit from faster examination and processing of their patent applications.
  • Access to Facilitation Centers: These centers provide guidance and support to startups on various aspects of IP management.

Patent Filing for DPIIT Registered Startups

Startups registered with the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) in India are entitled to a host of benefits, especially in the realm of patent filing. This section focuses on elucidating these advantages and the streamlined process that DPIIT registered startups can leverage.

Advantages of DPIIT Registration in Patent Filing

DPIIT registration provides startups with significant benefits in the patent filing process, designed to foster innovation and ease the challenges typically associated with IP protection.

Reduced Patent Fees for Startups

  • Significant Cost Reduction: One of the primary benefits for DPIIT registered startups is the substantial reduction in patent filing fees for DPIIT registered startups. This concession significantly lowers the financial barrier for protecting intellectual property.
  • Fee Structure Comparison: The table below illustrates the difference in fees for regular and DPIIT registered startups.
Patent Process StageFee for Regular EntitiesFee for DPIIT Registered Startups
Filing Fee8,0001,600 (Reduced by 80%)
Examination Fee20,0004,000 (Reduced by 80%)

The following patent fee for startups is applicable, if you are registered with DPIIT, under the Startup India scheme:

ActionGovernment feesProfessional fees
Patent application writing & filing1,6000
Request for Early publication (optional)2,5000
Request for Examination / Expedited examination4,0000
Responding to Examination ReportNA0
Appearing for Patent HearingNA0
Final decision (Grant / Refusal)NA0
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Patent fees for DPIIT registered startups in India

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File a Patent for Zero* fees

Zero professional fee applicable for DPIIT registered startups only. | DPIIT startup registration support is also available.

Expedited Patent Examination

  • Faster Processing: DPIIT registered startups can opt for an expedited examination process. This privilege accelerates the review of their patent applications, leading to quicker grant decisions.
  • Impact on Time-to-Market: This expedited process can be crucial for startups, enabling them to bring their innovations to market faster and stay ahead of the competition.

Legal Support and Assistance

  • Access to Expertise: Startups under DPIIT registration have access to a panel of IP facilitators. These experts provide guidance on various aspects of patent filing and IP management.
  • Subsidized Professional Fees: The fees for professional services provided by these facilitators are heavily subsidized and primarily paid by the government directly to the facilitator, further reducing the cost burden on startups.

To avail the facilitation under the Startup India scheme, please request for a free consultation.

Final Thoughts on the Importance of Patenting for Startup Success

In conclusion, startups in India must approach patent filing and IP management as integral components of their business strategy. By leveraging the benefits offered under schemes like Startup India and seeking the right guidance and resources, startups can effectively protect their innovations, maintain their competitive edge, and pave the way for long-term success in the global marketplace.


1. How long does it typically take for a patent to be granted in India?

  • The duration can vary, but generally, it takes a few years. For DPIIT registered startups, this process can be expedited.

2. Can startups without DPIIT registration access any government support for patent filing?

  • While DPIIT registration offers specific benefits, there are other government schemes and initiatives available to support startups in general, like patent schemes offered by state governments, etc.

3. How can startups ensure their patent application is successful?

  • Conducting a thorough patentability search and seeking expert assistance in drafting and prosecuting the patent application can significantly increase the chances of success.

4. Are there any specific sectors in India where patent filing is particularly prevalent among startups?

  • Patent filing is common across various sectors, with a notable prevalence in technology, pharmaceuticals, and engineering sectors.

5. What Are the Patent Filing Fees for Startups?

  • DPIIT registered startups enjoy substantial reductions in patent filing fees, receiving an 80% discount on official charges, which lowers the basic filing fee to approximately INR 1,600. Furthermore, these startups do not incur professional fees, as platforms like Zatapult offer assistance in the patent filing process without additional costs.
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