WHAT THE FIRST-GENERATION ENTREPRENEURS IN INDIA NEED TO KNOW ABOUT IPR?

By Meenal Dubey

Even as India is witnessing a start-up boom, most first-generation entrepreneurs are still grappling with the technicalities and realities of their businesses. The key challenges in this situation are scalability, delegation of responsibility and execution issues. With an economic upswing and innovation in businesses, it’s important for start-ups to safeguard assets and unique business practices with best Intellectual Property (IP) practices in the world.

Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) are a safeguard for any business including those in research and innovation to ensure their product or business model is not infringed by anyone.  It’s also an exercise to ensure that anyone else across the global has not had the same idea for their business so that there are no legal issues, later. According to experts, some of the major hardships that start ups can face include: confusion regarding which product or service to launch, post launch protection, absence of proper research before product launch and no secrecy about the launch.

Legal experts are of the firm opinion that even as entrepreneurs are setting up businesses, they must ensure they file for IPR immediately.

This idea has picked up momentum with more Indian start-ups going for early IPR filings, points a 2017 Forbes report.

“The Indian Patent Office has found that the process of filing patents in India has improved of late. Applications went up by 10% last year compared to the year before, and growth has been credited to the improvement of online services, availability of IP specialists across the country as well as the incentives provided for startups under the government’s Startup India initiative,” states the report.

First-time entrepreneurs have to consider three basic parameters while going for IPR filing. “Typically, at the launch stage all first-time entrepreneurs are excited about their product or business model. But to go to the second stage of business, it is essential to scale up the organization’s capabilities in terms of delegation of duties. IPR is multi-dimensional and its other functions include accessing knowledge markets and networks, signaling current and prospective value to investors, competitors and partners  and preventing rivals from patenting related inventions. This aligns with overall objective of technical capacity building,” said an IPR expert.

Looking at things on a futuristic level, IPR will define investor confidence and business growth for first-generation entrepreneurs.

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