Tag: legal

5 Steps For Turning Your Invention Ideas Into A Patent

5 Steps For Turning Your Invention Ideas Into A Patent

A patent is necessary to ensure that no one else can ever come and proclaim your idea as their own. In the present day scenario, everyone is keen on outdoing their competitors and provide something innovative to their customers. The entire process of a new product idea generation and reaching to its final execution is not easy either. You have to go through a multitude of steps before the product reaches the market.  One amongst these many steps includes the process of patent registration. As per Startup India Action Plan, recognized startups can get up to 80% rebate in filling patents If you are also beginning to get an innovative idea and want to know how to file a patent here are five steps that you need to complete.

1.   Understand the scope of the idea.

2.   Researching the idea

3.   Make a prototype

4.   Filing a patent

5.   Assessing the outcome

A patent is required so that you can use your idea for maximum benefits. Patent is provided for ideas which are unique and have not been touched before. Do not wait too for a long time to file or someone else could grab the idea. On the flipside, you may also have to understand whether the market is prepared for such a product to be launched. If you are still confused you can always consult external agencies to guide you with the same.

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Key Legal Documents Required For Startups & SMEs in India

Key Legal Documents Required For Startups & SMEs in India

Why it is necessary to use a professional legal document services? The important thing for legal documents is to translate the document into the target language in such a way that readers will gain a full impression of the content in the original language. It’s also important to note that the legal terms used in the original language represent the country’s system of government, culture and other necessary factors.

Running a business involves lot of drafting various legal documents. Find what you need regarding the right documents for your business entity, buying or selling a business, engaging in joint venture, managing stocks and more. Documents play an essential role in protecting the interests of the business and business owners over the course of a company’s lifetime.

 Below is the list of legal documents, amongst many, which Startups & SMEs will require:

Legal Documents Required For Startups

  1. Employment agreement- General applicable to all employees

  2. Website documents such as terms of use and privacy policy.

  3. Software development agreements.

  4. Terms sheet, Shareholder agreements, Share Subscription Agreement etc.

  5. Lease deeds

  6. Agreement between the Founders and Co-Founders

  7. Non-Discloser Agreement

  8. Intellectual property assignment agreement

  9. Chanel Partner agreement

Legal Documents Required For SMEs

  1. Key employee agreement- Agreements with General Manager, CEO, CFO,Vice President etc

  2. Service Agreement- Service agreements such as marketing, consultant engagement, AMC, advertising, facility Maintenance etc.

  3. Client agreements-: This kind of agreements are entered into by the Consultants like interior designer, architects, turnkey projects personnel, Logistic warehouses, basically any service provider etc.

  4. Lease deeds

  5. Collaboration agreements

  6. Merger and Acquisition transaction

  7. Franchisee agreements

  8. Pan India Distributorship Agreement

  9. Non-Discloser Agreement

  10. Settlement deeds or MOU

  11. Import Export Exclusive Distributorship Agreement

  12. Sales on commission basis agreement

  13. Intellectual property assignment agreement

  14. Chanel Partner agreement

When you run into a legal matter, you may consider hiring a lawyer, but you should take several factors into account before you do. A lawyer isn’t always needed for a legal conflict, and you could represent yourself to solve the problem. Figuring this out ahead of time can save you a ton of money.

You can use legal document preparation services for some issues regarding personal and business legal matters. By using legal document preparation services, you don’t have to worry spending unnecessary expenses on a lawyer. The price of a lawyer can cost many thousands of dollars, and this is something some people cannot afford.

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Trademark vs Patent – What Is The Difference? And When I decide Which I Need?

Trademark vs Patent – What Is The Difference? And When I decide Which I Need?

Intellectual property is a vast and complex term. Many a time people are confused or have incorrectly used the terms in intellectual property law. They have spoken of “copyrighting” an idea or even “patenting” a book. To understand these terms, it is essential to know what is Intellectual Property and what all does it entail.

Considering how complex intellectual property law can be, it is understandable that many people – including authors, journalists, biz and tech bloggers, tweeple, etc. – confuse the terms and oftentimes speak/write of “patenting a book” or “copywriting a new gadget”.

The terms patent, copyright, and trademark are all used in the context of intellectual property. Although intellectual property or intellectual ideas are created in the human mind, intellectual property does not refer to the ideas. It is how the idea materializes itself and the end result that is protected with a patent, a copyright, or a trademark.

The design of a fuel-efficient car maybe patented but not the idea. The story or the manuscript of a book is copyrighted and not the idea of the book itself.  When you start a new company, the logo is trademarked and not the idea of creating a logo.

Trademark Vs Patent – What Is The Difference

Trademarks are not concerned with how a new technology is used. Rather, they protect names of products and services, logos and other devices — such as color, sound and smell — that are used to identify the source of goods or services and distinguish them from the competition.

Patents on other hand allow those who create inventions to keep others from making commercial use of the inventions without the creator’s permission.

Generally, patent and trademark laws do not overlap. When it comes to product design, however — say, the design of a piece of jewelry or a distinctively shaped musical instrument — it may be possible to obtain a design patent on the ornamental aspect of the device (as distinguished from a utility patent for the invention, itself), while invoking trademark law to protect the design as a product identifier. For example, a surfboard manufacturer might receive a design patent for the appearance of its surfboard. Then, if the design is intended to be — and actually is — used to distinguish the particular type of surfboard in the marketplace, trademark law may kick in to protect the appearance of the board.

Example of Trademarks:

Coca cola and Pepsi are two trademarks from same industry (beverages) which distinctly identifies source or origin of the goods as well as an indication of quality.

Trademarks in India are registered by the Controller General of Patents Designs and Trademarks, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India. Trademarks are registered under the Trademark Act, 1999 and provide the trademark owner the right to sue for damages when infringements of trademarks occur.

However, any trademark, which is identical or deceptively similar to an existing registered trademark or trademark for which application for registration has been made, cannot be registered. Also trademark that would likely cause deception or confusion or is offensive may not be registered.

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Patenting 101 – Why is a Patent Claim so Important?

Patenting 101 – Why is a Patent Claim so Important?

Importance of Patent Claims:

Any technological invention needs to be patented for preventing alien companies from replicating it. It takes hard work, research and R&D to come up with groundbreaking innovation which is why patents are necessary to ensure that other companies cannot claim or use that technology without the primary company intending to share the technology for some reason which can be monetary. Logos and other unique content of your company can also be infringed, which is why you need to complete the logo registration and brand registration. This is the purpose of patenting a product. But what defines the area of propriety claim the company has over the invention?

Patent claim is an essential part of patenting which defines the boundary over which the claim has been made. This allows freedom to other corporations to patent products that are outside the jurisdiction of a previously patented innovation. Creating a patent claim is a grueling mix of technical and legal vocabulary and terms that can clearly define these boundaries and the scope of the invention or creativity. You will realize how important it is to create a patent claim which not only ensures trademark protection or technical protection but also lays down the exact map of what is covered and what is not.

Types of Patent Claims:

If broken down, patent claims can be visualized as independent patent claims and dependent patent claims:

Independent Patent Claims:

Like the term ‘independent’ suggests, this claim does not bear reference to a previous claim. It is a stand-alone claim that has no predecessors to claim to and is completed with a preamble and all the intricate technology used for creating the product. These claims have a broader perspective since they have to cover all the aspects of the products to restrict any form of infringements. Let’s take a look at the common types of independent patent claims:

  • Claiming a product

  • Claiming a process to create a product

  • Claiming the understanding of using a product

Dependent Patent Claims:

This is completely opposite to the independent patent claims definition wherein the claim made has a reference to a previous claim. A dependent claim can have reference to an independent or a dependent claim based on the product or process. The dependent claim for a specific product or a process is a narrow and core specific claim since you are targeting a concise and local aspect, without affecting the legal aspects and venturing outside the jurisdiction of the previously claimed product. This patent claim can have descriptions of the minute aspects, optional features or non-essential features that are not described in any of the previous claims. All these minuscule details add to the importance of patent claims.

Creating the Perfect Patent Claim

Patent claim is not an easy task which can be overlooked. Intellectual property which includes trademarks, logos, and technical aspects need to be protected through these claims which is why there needs to be clinical supervision over the draft that starts from the broad secret of the product right down to the core specifics of it and the language used. So let us take a look at creating the perfect patent claim.

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Top 4 Intellectual Property Rights Service Providers For SMEs and Startups

Top 4 Intellectual Property Rights Service Providers For SMEs and Startups

Creative ideas, innovations or unique creations can exist in every business. These are benchmarks of being competitive and ensuring financial success. But how do you protect your most valuable asset i.e. the intellectual property of your business? How do you make sure that competitors do not copy your business idea or USP of your product/ service? Read on to find out.

What do you mean by intellectual property rights?

“Intellectual property (IP) represents creations of the mind or intellect that can be legally owned. IP laws allow for protection of patents, trademarks, copyright, designs, circuit layouts, and plant breeder’s rights. Almost every business has some form of IP that they need to protect.” From the content on your corporate website to the differentiating aspect of the product you sell, or the key results of any R&D project you carried out – All of these fall under the gamut of intellectual property. Intellectual property rights are the rights given to individuals or companies over such creative works of intellect. They usually give the creator an exclusive right over the use of his/her creation for a certain period of time.

The intellectual property rights include industrial property rights (e.g. patents, industrial designs and trademarks) and copyright (right of the author or creator) and related rights (rights of the performers, producers and broadcasting organisations).

The significance of intellectual property rights in India is well established from a legal, judicial and administrative point of view.

Why hire an intellectual property rights service provider?

Apparently, the concept of intellectual property is not an entirely new one. SMEs and startups have a fair knowledge of intellectual property rights. But money is a huge consideration for small businesses, providing for the protection of one’s intellectual property rights seems like a luxury to them. However, in the long term, it is worth protecting your intellectual property.

It becomes even more important and acts as a powerful asset when you have plans to sell the business, merge with another company, secure funding or embark on a joint venture. And thanks to the good number of professional intellectual property rights service providers in India, the extremely complicated task of

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Statutory Compliance: The Legal Framework Within Which Organizations Must Operate!

Business in India is synonymous with the need to understand compliance and be compliant as non-compliance could be a showstopper any time. Whether it is statutory compliance or Labor law compliance, a structured approach towards compliance would result in a better bottom line with sustained growth. Compliance should be viewed as a dynamic item of cost, rather than a passive charge on the profits. A superior operational finesse is needed to achieve this goal.

For any enterprise wanting to become compliant with minimally invasive resources, outsourcing compliance may become the key to success. Whether you are a team of 20 or 500 or more employees, the importance of Labor Law compliance is obvious and outsourcing to the right partner will ensure systematic compliance and back you with insights into Labor Law compliance.

What is Statutory Compliance?

Statutory compliance, in HR, refers to the legal framework within which organizations must operate, in the treatment of their employees.

Every country has several hundreds of federal and state labor laws that companies need to align with. This list is forever being added to.

A lot of your company’s effort and money goes into ensuring compliance to these laws which could deal with a range of issues; from the payment of minimum wages to maternity benefits or professional taxes.

Therefore, dealing with statutory compliance requires for companies to be well versed with the various labor regulations in their country of operation.

What is the Need for Statutory Compliance?

Adhering to statutory compliances is necessary for all big and small companies in the world to keep their businesses safe from the legal trouble. A deep knowledge of statutory compliances is required to minimize the risk associated with the noncompliance of statutory requirements.

In today’s competitive and legal business world, it is very challenging for employers to manage statutory compliances without good payroll management software. Each country has various kinds of compliance requirements. This blog discusses the statutory requirements for Indian payroll system.

There are a number of statutory requirements for Indian companies and companies have to spend a significant amount of time in their payroll management to ensure that they are compliant with the legal regulations. If companies fail to adhere to statutory compliance, they may have to face heavy penalties, which are several times more than complying with legal guidelines.

The Statutory Compliances Required for Indian Payroll

The common statutory requirements that companies have to follow for their payroll management in India are:

  1. Statutory requirements for Minimum wages

This act provides for fixing minimum rates of wages for skilled and unskilled laborers. It not only guarantees money for bare minimum survival requirements of workers but also takes care of education, medical requirements, and some level of comfort of workers.

The Minimum Wages Act being a state subject, the statutory compliance of a centralized Payroll management is to cater for the payment of minimum wages to an organization’s workers spread out across different states. Payment of ‘Overtime’ wages to workers is also a statutory requirement as per the Factory Act & Payment of Wages Act. It affects sectors like manufacturing & construction.

  1. PF (Provident Fund)

The Employees’ provident Fund 1952 is enacted to provide a kind of social security to the industrial workers. The Act is applicable for every employee employed in an factory or in connection with the work of a factory or other establishment covered by the schemes other than an excluded employee is entitled are required to become a member of the fund from the date of joining the factory or establishment.

This amount is later paid to the employee after retirement, death or any such cases where the employee is not able to work. Contribution under this scheme:

  • Employees: 12% on Basic + DA

Employer :

  • 67% on Basic + DA
  • Administrative Charges : 1.10% on Basic +DA 31 Jan 2015
  • 33% on Basic + DA

 

(It is to be noted that the employer shall not contribute above Rs. 15000 /- of the pay of employee per month[AM1] .)

  1. The Employer contribution of 12% of the salary of employees is to be paid as under:
  • 67% to be remitted in Account No.1 (Employees Account)
  • 33% to be remitted in Account No.10 towards pension fund
  • In addition to 12% of the employer has to remit 1.61% paid as under
  • 10% Administrative charges in Account No.2
  • 5% EDLI in Account No.21
  • 01% Inspection charges in Account No.22
  1. Legal Formalities To Be Followed:
  • Declaration Form no.2 has to fill up by new joiners at the time of joining and submitted to RPFC office.
  • Monthly contribution of Employer & Employee Qualification in Challan for previous month has to be submitted in SBI before 15th of every month.
  • Return of Employees Qualifying Form no. 5 has to be submitted in RPFC office before 15th of every month.
  • Return of Employees Leaving Form no. 10 has to be submitted in RPFC office before 15th of every month.
  • Monthly return Form no 12A has to be submitted in RPFC office before 25th of every month.
  • Annual return & reconciliation statement Form no 3A & 6A has to be submitted in RPFC office before 30th of April.
  • Transfer of PF A/c Form no. 13 has to be fill of new recruit and submitted to RPFC office.
  • Final settlement Form no. 19, 10c & 10D has to be fill at the time of leaving the service and submitted in RPFC office.
  1. ESIC (Employee State Insurance Company):

ESIC is a self-financing security and health insurance scheme for all Indian workers. For employees earning ` 15000 or less per month, the employer contribute 4.75 % and the employee contributes 1.75 % with a total contribution of 6.5 %. The ESIC scheme provides medical benefit for employees and their families. Sickness and maternity benefits for employees. The ESIC scheme also provides dependents benefit for dependents in case of death due to employment injury.

Forms to be used under ESIC Schemes:

  • Form No. 1: ESI Declaration form for New Entrants.
  • Form No. 1B: Changes in Family declaration
  • Form No. 72: Application for Duplicate Card
  • Form MRO 266: Application form for change of Name / Year of Birth of insured person Woman
  • Form No.6: ESI half yearly return
  • ESI Challans: Within 21 days from the case of every Month.
  • Form 37: For registering with Local ESI doctor
  1. Profession Tax:

Profession tax is the tax charged by state government of India. Every Indian earning income in the form of salary or any other profession has to pay profession tax. Profession tax slab differ from state to state in India. However, not all state impose tax. The following states have levied Professional tax – West Bengal, Karnataka, Telangana, Andra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, Assam, Kerala, Orissa, Meghalaya, Tripura, Bihar, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh. The owner of the business has to furnish a return to the tax department within a specific time in the prescribed format. The return should also include tax payment proof.

  1. Gratuity:

Gratuity is a part of salary received by employees form their employers as gratitude for the services performed by the employee in the employment tenure. It is one of the many retirement benefits that employers give employees at the time of leaving the company.

Applicability:

  • Every mine, port, oil plantation factory and railway company
  • Every shop or establishment – employing 10 or more persons in the previous year.
  • To any other establishment – employing 10 or more persons.

Payment of Gratuity

  • Continuous service of 5yrs (not necessary in case of death or disablement)
  • On termination due to superannuation or retirement
  • Resignation, death or disablement due to accident or disease
  • In case of death, the amount will be paid to nominee or legal heir
  1. The Minimum Wages Act 1948 

The Minimum Wages Act 1948 sets the limits on how much wages to be paid to the unskilled, semi-skilled, skilled and high skilled labors. The minimum wages is different in different states in India and it keeps on updating every six months depending upon the states policy. Under the minimum wages act, the minimum wages rate differ for different categories, as follows:

  • Unskilled
  • Semi-Skilled
  • Skilled
  • High Skilled

The Minimum wage rate differs from state to state, and it is updated every six month.

Records to be maintained under (sec. 18): The Registers should contain the following particulars

  • Particulars of employed persons
  • The work performed by them
  • The wages paid to them
  • The receipts given by them
  1. The Maternity Benefit Act 1961:

The Maternity benefit act aims to protect the dignity of motherhood and of a new person by providing payment for full and healthy maintenance of the women and her child at the maternity time when she is not working. An Act to regulate the employment of women in certain establishments for certain periods before and after childbirth and to provide for maternity benefit and certain other benefits.

Eligible for Maternity Benefit:

  • Must work in the establishment for 80 days in 12 months before her date of Delivery.
  • Women earning less than 15,000 will not be eligible for maternity benefit, but may be offered ESI scheme by her employer.

Duties of Employee for Maternity Benefit:

  • Ten weeks before the expected delivery date she may ask employer to give her light work.[Produce certificate of pregnancy]
  • Should intimate the employer Seven Weeks before her delivery date about the leave period.
  • Name the person to whom the payment will be made in case she cannot take herself.
  1. Payment Of Bonus Act 1965:

The Payment of bonus Act 1965 aims at providing a bonus to employees of certain establishments, as a part of profit or productivity or production and for connection…

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Top 10 Things You Need To Know About GST

Top 10 Things You Need To Know About GST

Goods and Service Tax or GST, in short, is a boon to businesses. Indian tax system is very complex and has different direct and indirect tax deductions for various products and services. Hence, understanding the tax structure for your small business used to be complicated and very difficult to implement. Now and then, there would be a change in the structure due to volatile components like service tax making the traditional taxation process more intricate.

Imagine an entrepreneur who has just started a business. In addition to the businesses processes, they would also have the additional burden of filing taxes before the deadline, understanding tax credits, and payment procedures entirely to run a compliant business. However, with the traditional taxation structure, there is a lot of scope for mistakes, or rather blunders, which a tax auditor would not agree to look past. This might result in serious legal implications and hamper the business mostly.

GST has simplified the entire taxation process for small businesses and ensures that the structure is easy to understand and implement. There are not many variations in the tax structure for different businesses, which further simplifies the process. So, confused about the things that you need to know? Keep reading.

1. Will my tax burden go down?

GST will have a definite impact on the cascading of tax. That is, the tax will not be levied on a produced well at every stage of its transfer till it reaches the end consumer. This would drastically bring down the tax burden. The input credit can only be demanded in case it matches with the billing statement of the respective suppliers in between.

“Tax will not be levied on a produced well at every stage of its transfer till it reaches the end consumer.”

2. What about my compliance procedures?

GST registration process is aimed at bringing down the burden of compliance on small businesses. However, since the procedure is new and contrasting to what has been followed for these many years, you would require a more stringent compliance procedure to ensure a smooth transition.

3. Will it become more tedious?

It is worth noting that the traditional taxation procedures required you to file for VAT, service tax and all other returns separately, as the input mechanism are different for each tax. However, in GST, you only need to input your purchase and sale details, the GSTN would automatically match invoices for claiming input credits, and the returns and prepared accordingly. Once this process is completed, there is no further requirement to file anything else on a monthly basis.

4. Knowing all the GST rate slabs

At present, there are four proposed tax slabs that you need to know which ranges from 0% to 28%. The first one is the special categories of goods and services which would include all the luxury goods like precious metals and falls in the 28% tax slab. The second category is that of standard goods and services which have a 12%-18% tax slab. The third category is that of goods of mass consumption like oil, tea, and spices with a tax rate of 5%. Grains like rice and wheat, and other essential products and goods are exempted from tax, and there is a proposed cess charge on sin products like cigarettes, aerated drinks, luxury cars, and tobacco which is over and above the 28% levied on standard goods.

5. How do I pay

Once you do the GST registration online you can start filing the returns through GSTN and the tax is calculated based on your liability through sales bills. The valid tax input credits also get adjusted automatically. The amount can then be paid online.

6. How will this system impact my working capital?

One of the points to be kept in mind here is that, while there is no cascading of tax, the working capital requirement would increase significantly in case your supplier or customer is non-compliant with regards to tax filings.

7.  GST returns

This is to be prepared based on your invoices for the stipulated period of return filing. You have to upload the relevant bills, sales register, and other relevant information which would be required to authenticate your returns.

8. Matching credit inputs

You have a period of two months to match your credit inputs post which you will have to revoke all unmatched credits. You can work with your vendors and suppliers for any return which doesn’t get matched after which the final tax return would be prepared and tax liability would get discharged.

9. What should I know about GST compliance?

Ensuring GST compliance is an essential thing after online GST registration. The best way to start is to ensure that all your transactions are recorded in the system and is reportable. One of the inevitable GST registration requirements for small businesses would be to have a technology-aided solution to enable them to be compliant. Such a system can effectively capture and record all the transactions and minimize any loss of records or invoices.

10. What is the most important thing I need to know about GST?

You need to be wary about two types of invoice namely the tax invoice and bill of supply to ensure GST compliance. You can issue an invoice for goods any time before the delivery of the product and for service, you can do so within 30 days of supply of the service. In the case of non-taxable supplies, you are not required to issue a separate bill of supply if you have already issued a VAT invoice. Also, issuing invoices is not essential for a small tax-payer who does a large number of transactions below 200 unless specifically requested by the customer.

 

In Conclusion

Online GST registration has become compulsory for every business person in India with an annual supply turnover of over 25lakhs. This is inclusive of all kinds of legal entities like proprietorship, LLP, partnership, company, society and any other related profit making body. The registration has to be completed within a month of exceeding the annual supply turnover limit. The entire GST registration process is seamless, transparent, straightforward, and is an absolute necessity for all businesses.

“The entire GST registration process is seamless, transparent, straightforward, and is an absolute necessity for all businesses.”

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