Building IPR Awareness for Small and Medium Size Enterprises

Written by: Ananya Sharma, Associate, JusIP

The Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) today represent a dynamic sector of the Indian economy. They contribute significantly to the economy and accordingly, require proper incentives in the form of financial aid, schemes, technological and infrastructure development, market assistance and ways to enhance not only competition but also innovation.

Challenges Faced by MSMEs

MSMEs contribute 30% percentage1 to the Indian Economy while playing a significant role in generating employment for the citizenry. However, they face many hurdles when it comes to ensuring protection of their Intellectual Property (IP). Some of the key challenged faces by MSMEs in India include, inter alia, ignoring innovation while focusing on production and lack of business and product technical information.

On the occasion of the 21st World Intellectual Property Day, we elucidate upon the Flagship Programme of the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Industries which focuses on the objective of making things simpler for MSMEs in these times to facilitate better IP protection and innovation.

Synopsis of the Scheme

As a part of the National Manufacturing Competitiveness Programme, the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in their Annual Report of 2020-20212 have highlighted a Scheme for “Building Awareness on Intellectual Property Rights” for MSMEs. The objective of this scheme is four-fold.

Firstly, to spread awareness about the law pertaining to Intellectual Property Rights; secondly, to undertake measures for protection of business strategies and ideas; thirdly, to assist MSMEs enhance competitiveness by utilisation of IPR Tools and up-gradation of technology; fourthly, to fulfil the aforementioned objectives by way of “conducting awareness programmes, seminars workshops, reimbursements for registration of IP, international co-operation and setting up IP Facilitation Centres across India”.


While the eligibility for each of the activities under the scheme varies from one to the next, broadly the following entities will be eligible under the Scheme:

A. Competent Agencies such as Consultancy and research organisations or individuals or agencies with at least five years of experience into conducting studies or capability to conduct the same.
B. Expert Agencies such as WIPO, IITs, Indian Patent Office, TIFAC, NRDC etc.
C. IPR facilitating Agencies such as quasi-judicial or government aided bodies and private units sponsored by MSME Industry Associations.
D. MSME Organisations such as Industry Associations, Societies and Cooperatives including Trusts etc.
E. MSME Units which are registered or have EM credentials.

As per the above Scheme, the activities under this Scheme would be divided into seven parts. These alongside the financial grant for the activities are:

S.No.ActivityGrant per Application/Proposal (Lakhs)



(i) Short Term

(ii) Long Term





(i) Domestic Patent

(ii) Foreign Patent

(iii) GI Registration







(i) Domestic

(ii) International Exchange





Objectives of the above activities

An effective way to determine how the activities listed under the Schemes will benefit various stakeholders is by analysing the objective that the Ministry wishes to achieve from them. The following table aims to apprise you with the information pertinent for each activity:

1.          Awareness Programmes on IPR
  • To increase awareness on IPR issues
  • To develop understanding
  • To integrate knowledge of IPR in innovation strategies
  • To improve protection and enforcement of IPR from infringement
  • To fight counterfeiting
2.   Pilot studies for Group of Industries or Clusters
  • To create knowledge in regard to strategies for IP Management of specific industries
  • To find solutions for better IP Management
  • To strengthen MSME base in emerging areas of IPR
  • To suggest Policy decisions for better IP management
3.  Seminars/ Workshops
  • Seminars and Workshops for industry clusters
  • To discuss recommendations by pilot studies
  • To focus on industry specific IP issues
4.  Specialised Training
  • To prevent competitors from infringing or copying products and services
  • To avoid wasteful investment in research, development and marketing
  • To create corporate identity through trademark and branding strategies
  • To protect and secure foreign markets
5.Financial Assistance for Grant of Patent and GI
  • To encourage innovation
6.Setting up IP Facilitation Centres
  • To provide basic information for application of grant of geographical indications, design, and trade marks
  • To provide facilities for search and mapping in regard to patents, industrial designs and trade secrets
  • To facilitate transfer and commercialisation of technologies
  • To facilitate collaboration with potential clients for technology up-gradation
  • To provide information on IPR law and practices
  • To offer guidance in filing patent, designs, geographical indications and trade mark applications
  • To advise on IPR infringement, legal remedies and IPR lawyer etc.
7.Activities with International agencies
  • To open avenues for interaction in areas leading to acquisition of knowledge
  • To build bilateral ties via R&D programmes
  • For capacity building through training and exchange programmes
  • To understand cultural approaches to scientific research


1 The Economic Times, “MSME sector contributes 30% to GDP, 48% to exports: Nitin Gadkari” 30th October, 2020, visited on 25.04.2020.
2 Read the Scheme on

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