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In a bid to support the startup ecosystem in Maharashtra, the state government has taken a slew of initiatives. The state government will be providing financial assistance to innovative startups who wish to file for patents. In the first phase, around 125 to 150 startups will be supported with a financial assistance of from up to Rs 2 lakh to Rs 10 lakh. Minister of Skill Development, Employment and Entrepreneurship Nawab Malik said that youth-led startups offering innovative solutions often need to incur significant expenses while filing patent applications. Despite being innovative and deserving, many startups are unable to file patents because of the high expenses involved.

''In order to survive in a competitive world, it is important for startups and early stage entrepreneurs to protect their Intellectual Property Rights (IPR). With the objective of spreading awareness and providing assistance to file the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) application, this scheme aims to offer financial assistance of up to Rs 2 lakh for a domestic patent application and up to Rs 10 lakh for an international patent application, subject to maximum 80% contribution by Maharashtra State Innovation Society set up by the Department of Skill Development, Employment and Entrepreneurship, on a reimbursement basis,'' said Malik on Tuesday.

The scheme will cater to utility patents, industry design patents, copyrights (limited to computer code) and trademark applications.

In order to be eligible, the applicant should be a startup recognised by the Department of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Government of India and incorporated in Maharashtra. For domestic patent applications, since incorporation, the startup should have a revenue of less than Rs 1 crore. For international patent applications, since incorporation, the startup should have a revenue of less than Rs 5 crore. There are certain other such eligibility conditions.

In case the startup has raised funds of more than Rs 3 crore, then the contribution from MSInS shall reduce to 50% instead of 80%. ''Maharashtra is one of the first few states to provide an end-to-end platform for IPR applications, in addition to financial assistance. This scheme shall help establish Maharashtra’s position as an IP-led startup hub, playing to our advantage as the country’s most industrialised state,'' said Malik. He added that, post the launch of the scheme, the applications will be accepted on www.msins.in

Malik said quality testing and certification is an important expense for early stage startups. It is important for any startup to get their innovative product / service tested in a laboratory. “The Government of Maharashtra has decided to support startups with expenses incurred for quality testing and certification. As per this scheme, startups will be supported up to Rs 2 lakh, subject to 80% of the total cost incurred for quality testing and certification, on a reimbursement basis. In order to be eligible under this scheme, it is mandatory to undertake these tests at a NABL/BIS recognized lab. Under this scheme, the state government aims to support approximately 250 startups,'' he noted.

In order to be eligible for this scheme, the startup should be recognized by the

According to Malik, this scheme will increase the competence of startups in product development and will also help them become more competitive in the domestic and export markets. Maharashtra is amongst the first few states to support startups with quality testing and certification costs. These schemes will be launched very soon by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.

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