India’s economic engine, the Micro, Small, and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs) sector, has recently received recognition and encouragement. Globally, MSME industries have had a significant influence. In India, MSMEs are also getting support and relaxation. The government is working to promote and expand small, medium-sized, and micro businesses (MSMEs).
MSMEs are crucial for a country’s economic development and stability. They are crucial, especially for developing countries like India because they encourage economic activity, generate jobs, and support the fight against poverty. The government plans to expand MSMEs’ share of GDP from its present level of roughly 29% to 50% during the next five years. The information on MSMEs is available on the website https://msme.gov.in/.
The enterprises which fall under the MSMEs category have been summarized in the table below:
|Investment in plant and machinery||Investment in equipment||Annual Turnover|
|Micro enterprises||Does not exceed Rs. 25 lakhs||Does not exceed Rs. 10 lakhs||Not more than Rs. 5 crores|
|Small enterprises||More than Rs. 25 lakhs but does not exceed Rs. 5 crores||More than Rs. 10 lakhs but does not exceed Rs. 2 crores||Not more than 50 crores|
|Medium enterprises||More than Rs. 5 crores but does not exceed Rs. 10 crores||More than Rs. 2 crores but does not exceed Rs. 5 crores||Not more than 250 crores|
National Manufacturing Competitiveness Programme (NMCP)
The National Manufacturing Competitiveness Programme (NMCP) is a project started by the Indian government to increase the MSMEs in India’s global competitiveness. The program, which was conceptualized by the National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council, began in the fiscal year 2007–2008.
India’s manufacturing industry is a significant part of the economy, accounting for 17% of its GDP. SMEs are the backbone of the manufacturing industry and the whole economy, contributing around 45% of the manufacturing output, 40% of all exports, and providing significant employment opportunities throughout the nation. The National Manufacturing Competitiveness Program (NMCP) was put in place by the Central Government with the intention of helping Indian SMEs reach global levels and increasing the manufacturing sector to roughly 25% of the GDP. In order to do this, the central government is responsible for developing policies in areas including IT adoption, manufacturing management, skill development, capital access, technical simplicity, marketing, and governance reform. The NMCP project intends to address these issues, increase the size of Indian MSMEs, or micro, small, and medium-sized manufacturing companies, and help them compete on a global basis. It also aims to provide inputs to local producers so they can compete with foreign competitors on the domestic market.
Building awareness of intellectual property rights (IPR) for MSME is one of the NMCP’s components. Accordingly, a variety of IPR-related activities are suggested under this programme in order to help the MSME sector meet the current problems of liberalization. The goal is to increase MSME awareness of intellectual property rights (IPRs) so that they can take action to safeguard their business ideas and operating methods. MSMEs that effectively use IPR instruments can also benefit from technology upgrades and increased competitiveness.
Financial Assistance under NMCP
|Activity||Maximum Grant per Application/Proposal (Rs. In Lakh)|
|1.||Awareness/Sensitisation Programmes on IPR||1.00|
|2.||Pilot Studies for Selected Clusters/Groups of Industries||2.50|
|4.||Specialized Training Short term (ST) (ii) Long term (LT)|
|5.||Assistance for Grant on Patent/GI RegistrationDomestic Patent Foreign Patent GI Registration|
|6.||Setting up of ‘IP Facilitation Centre for MSME’||65.00|
|7.||Interaction with International AgenciesDomestic Intervention International Exchange Programme|
Awareness/Sensitisation Programmes on IPR
The main goal of the Sensitization Programme on IPR is to assist MSMEs, Industry Associations, and other interested parties in raising awareness about issues related to intellectual property rights in general and, more specifically, informing them about the importance of protecting intellectual property rights and the advantages they have for the economy. The program for MSMEs has the following specific goals:
- To significantly boost interest in, knowledge about, and awareness of IPR issues.
- To gain a comprehensive awareness of the requirement to incorporate IP into their innovation initiatives and commercial strategy.
- To expand the use of non-registered protection techniques and increase the registration of rights in order to better protect IP accomplishments.
- To strengthen IPR enforcement and protection against violations.
- To strengthen our ability to combat counterfeiting.
The sensitization programs typically last one to two days and involve 30 participants. The topics which are covered in this program are as follows:
- Introduction to IPR tools such as Patents, Trademarks, Industrial Design, Geographical Indication, Copyright, Trade secrets, Layout designs for integrated circuits, Plant breeder rights etc.
- National and International IP laws.
- Procedure for Registration.
- Fundamentals of Technology Transfer.
- Patenting and Patent law. IPR Policies and its Management.
- Problems of Counterfeiting and Piracy.
- Enforcement of Rights.
- TRIPS Agreement.
However, the aforementioned list of topics is not exhaustive, and suggestions for more specialized fields may also be taken into consideration. The topics may be chosen with the target audiences’ needs in mind, and when applicable, local issues should also be included.
The Indian Government financially funds the organization of these sensitization and awareness programs up to Rs. 1 lakh per program. This may include, as appropriate, the costs for venue rental, instructional materials, audio/visual aids, TA/DA and honoraria to the Guest Faculty, costs for transportation, the purchase of stationery goods, refreshments, and other incidentals. Government funding is only available for the proposed event’s administrative costs; capital assets like equipment are not eligible. A minimum of 10% of the overall financial support provided by the GoI for the event’s organization must come from private partners.
Pilot Studies for Selected Clusters/Groups of Industries
The main goal of this program is to give qualifying applicants the funding necessary to conduct pilot studies to determine the IP requirements of the chosen MSME clusters and industries, and to suggest steps for further bolstering the IP portfolio.
The following are the program’s specific goals:
- To produce the data and knowledge needed to create approaches and plans for better IP Management of particular industrial clusters (or groupings) and sectors.
- To make suggestions for fixing IP management issues.
- To increase the MSME base in the diverse and developing fields of IPR.
- To make recommendations for managing IP requirements particular to a cluster sector.
The Indian government provides each pilot study up to Rs. 2.5 lakh in financial support, largely to pay the costs incurred by the expert agencies to carry out the pilot study. The MSME cluster body, one of the private partners, must contribute money equal to at least 10% of the GoI’s financial support as well as all other facilities and information needed for the study.
The main goal of this activity is to give MSME business owners, Industry Associations, and other stakeholders—including professionals with working expertise in the MSME sector—a place to exchange information and experience and raise public awareness of various IPR issues. The program’s precise goals include:
- To customize seminars and workshops for recognized clusters and industries’ IP needs.
- To overview the pilot study recommendations.
- To concentrate on the problem of IP adoption that is unique to a given sector or cluster.
For the purpose of conducting these programs, the Government of India may offer financial support up to Rs. 2.00 lakh per program. The financial support provided by the GoI may be used to pay for a variety of costs, including venue rental, instructional materials, audio/visual aids, travel expenses, stationery purchases, refreshments, and other ad hoc costs. The funding is solely available to cover the proposed event’s organizational costs; it cannot be used to purchase capital goods like buildings, machinery, automation, etc. The private partners, i.e., the event participants, the industries that make up the cluster group or sector, or the industry association, institute, or chamber, shall provide (as a minimum) an amount equal to 10% of the total GoI support given for the event’s organization.
Specialized Training (Short/Long-Term)
In the current global environment, it is urgently necessary to create competent human resources in order to increase capacity and grow the MSME sector in accordance with IPR and commercialization criteria. It is suggested that training programs (both short- and long-term duration) be developed to improve the knowledge and capacity building of the MSME sector in all domains of intellectual property in order to attain this goal.
The main goal of the program is to offer technical assistance and support systems that would enable effective IPR knowledge and skill transfer through training for the benefit of many sectors of society, including MSME, academic and research institutions, academics, students, and entrepreneurs. Increasing the availability of resource people whose services might be specifically used to instruct or sensitize the MSME sector on their unique IPR needs.
The program’s other goals include:
- Preventing competitors from duplicating or closely mimicking a company’s goods or services;
- Avoiding unnecessary spending on marketing and R&D.
- Establishing a corporate identity through a trademark and branding strategy and raising the company’s market worth.
- Defending and securing international markets.
For short-term training programs, the Government of India contributes Rs. 6.00 lakh, and for long-term training programs, it contributes Rs. 45.00 lakh as a single amount. The financial support provided by the GoI may be used to pay for the majority of the costs associated with faculty and experts, participant boarding and accommodation, course materials, field trips, and other pertinent expenses. 10% of the GoI’s financial support for the suggested events needs to come from the beneficiaries or industry associations sponsoring the trainees.
Financial Assistance on Grant of Patent And Registration Under Geographical Indications of Goods
A patent is an exclusive right given by the State for an invention that is novel, creative, and suitable for commercial use. It grants its owner the sole authority to forbid or ban others from creating, utilizing, offering for sale, selling, or importing anything based on the patented invention without the owner’s consent. A patent is an effective instrument for businesses to establish an exclusive claim over a novel process or product, dominate the market, and to generate additional money through licensing.
Geographical Indications (GI) are names given to goods that indicate that they were produced, grown, or produced in a particular country, region, or locality, and that their quality, reputation, or other characteristic is largely due to that location. These goods may be agricultural, natural, or manufactured. A GI can only be detected; it cannot be generated. It reaffirms the worth of already-available goods.
The main objective of the program is to support MSMEs in securing their rights to their traditional goods or processes that are associated with their region in the public’s mind under the GI Act or to safeguard their innovation/R & D in this era of globalization.
In accordance with this program, registered Indian MSMEs receive one-time financial assistance up to a maximum of Rs. 25,000 for domestic patent grants and Rs. 2 lakh for overseas patent grants. One-time cash assistance for registration under the Geographical Indications of Goods Act has been capped at Rs. 1.00 lakh. The GoI provides assistance in the form of a reimbursement to the applicant.
Assistance For Setting Up of IP Facilitation Centre For MSME
To assist the MSMEs and other prospective entrepreneurs to have access to best practices for identification, protection, and management of IPR as a business tool. The establishment of the IP Facilitation Center’s main goal is to advise MSME and other target beneficiaries on how to use IP tools and technologies for better management of their needs linked to intellectual property.
The following are the centre’s specific goals:
- To offer computerized tools for mapping, searching, and other tasks related to trade secrets, industrial designs, and patents.
- To give basic information when submitting a request for a patent, a GI, an industrial design, a trademark, etc.
- To make it easier for technologies to be successfully transferred and commercialized.
- To make it easier for potential clients to work together while examining technological tie-up and scalability needs.
The Government of India gives each of these centers a total financial boost of up to Rs. 65.00 lakh, which includes a one-time grant of Rs. 45.00 lakh and Rs. 18.00 lakh in recurrent costs over a three-year period. Within a total budget of Rs. 18.00 lakh, the recurring expenses are covered in the following proportions: 75%, 60%, and 30% over the course of three years. The implementing agency/users body is required to cover the remaining costs through “users charges.” A provision of Rs. 2.00 lakh is established for unforeseen circumstances and other unspecified costs.
The GoI does not incur any liability when these centers are established. The financial assistance from the government of India is used to pay for costs such as hardware/software license fees, furniture, and fixtures, networking, the contract employment of external consultants and staff, costs for telecommunication, stationary, miscellaneous/institutional, overhead costs, etc. The implementing agencies/users body would also supply or arrange for the space for the establishment of these Centres.
After an initial gestation period of three years, it is anticipated that the implementing agency will eventually take ownership of the offices’ assets and operate them on a self-sustaining basis. During this time, these centers will develop their own funding sources in an effort to eventually become self-sufficient.
Activities With the International Agencies
India must collaborate closely with developed countries to foster innovation, creativity, and technical development by offering a dynamic IPR management through cooperation in the area of capacity-building activities and experience sharing. The development of appropriate connections and cooperation with IPR offices in developed nations and other international organizations, such as WIPO, EU, Japan Patent Office (JPO), German Patent and Trademark Office, United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), Korea Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), etc., is pursued in order to achieve this goal.
The Action Plan is collaboratively finalized in consultation with international organizations and outlines the specific cooperation activities to be carried out each year. The action plan comprises comprehensive preparation for executing cooperation tasks, including the action’s scope, assigning tasks, timetable, and any other details deemed relevant. A mutual agreement or memorandum of understanding (MoU) may also be used to formalize the specifics of the suggested course of action, broad criteria for carrying out particular activities, etc.
The major objectives include:
- Information exchange between several nations about IPR.
- Creating opportunities for communication in fields where knowledge is available on a global scale.
- By taking part in cooperative R&D programs to build bridges in order to promote and develop your bilateral relationships.
- Boosting high-tech sector capacity through training and exchange initiatives.
- Sharing scientific and technological expertise to make IPR implementation in India’s MSME sector easier.
- Recognising the various cultural perspectives on science.
- Examining the potential for the MSME in India to adopt the finest IPR practices from other countries.
For domestic intervention and the international exchange program, the government of India would offer financial support up to Rs. 5.00 lakh and Rs. 7.50 per event, respectively, for approved specified activities in accordance with the suggestions made during the joint consultation process/MoU.
The expense of holding such events would also be shared by international IPR Agencies/Offices. When it comes to workshops and seminars, their support mostly takes the shape of TA/DA and other costs for international experts, etc. (in the case of domestic events) as well as the provision of necessary logistics and support, the scheduling of resource people, etc (in case of international events). Specific sharing specifics for such activities would be worked out in the form of an MoU or mutual agreement. In the event of local as well as foreign events, the private beneficiaries will also be required to contribute 10% of the GoI contribution.