Maharashtra govt to provide financial aid to startups

The Maharashtra government has decided to provide financial assistance to innovative startups which wish to file for patents, state Minister Nawab Malik said on Tuesday.

Addressing a press conference here, the Skill Development, Employment and Entrepreneurship Minister said in the first phase of the scheme, 125 to 150 startups will be supported with financial assistance of Rs 2 lakh to Rs 10 lakh.

“In order to survive in a competitive world, it is important for startups and early-stage entrepreneurs to protect their Intellectual Property Rights (IPR),” an official statement said.

With the objective of spreading awareness and providing assistance for filing 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 per cent contribution by Maharashtra State Innovation Society set up by the department of skill development, employment and entrepreneurship, on a reimbursement basis, the statement said.

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

To be eligible for aid, the applicant should be a startup recognised by the Department of Industry and Internal Trade, Government of India, and incorporated in Maharashtra, it said.

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, the statement said.

Malik also said the Maharashtra government has decided to support startups with expenses incurred for quality testing and certification.

He contended that quality testing and certification is an important expense for early stage startups and often they find it difficult to bear the cost.

As per this scheme, startups will be supported up to Rs 2 lakh, subject to 80 per cent of the total cost incurred for quality testing and certification, on a reimbursement basis, the minister said.

To be eligible under this scheme, it is mandatory to undertake these tests at a NABL/BIS recognised lab Malik said and added that the state government aims to support approximately 250 startups under the initiative.

Also, the startups annual revenue should not have crossed Rs 1 crore in any financial year and it should not have raised funds exceeding Rs 3 crore.

Malik said these schemes will be launched very soon by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and financial assistance shall be provided for patent filing and quality testing and certification.

Post their launch, applications for financial aid will be accepted on, the statement added.

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