EU SMEs can count on a fund of 47 million euros to protect their intellectual property rights and support the recovery from Covid-19 and for green and digital transitions for the next three years. The new fund was recently launched by the European Commission and the EU Office for Intellectual Property (EUIPO) and can be granted to SMEs such as:
- Reimbursement of 90% of the costs foreseen by the Member States for the services of IP Scan, which provide a broad assessment of the needs of the applicant SMEs in the field of intellectual property, taking into account the innovative potential of its intangible assets;
- Reimbursement of 75% of the costs charged by the Intellectual Property Offices (including the National Intellectual Property Offices, the European Union Intellectual Property Office and the Benelux Intellectual Property Office) for the registration of trademarks and designs;
- Reimbursement of 50% of the costs charged by the World Intellectual Property Organization for obtaining international protection of trademarks and designs;
reimbursement of 50% of the costs charged by the national patent offices for the registration of patents in 2022;
- Other services could be envisaged from 2023, for example partial reimbursement of research costs relating to the previous state of the art, the costs of filing the patent application and the costs of private advice on intellectual property by PI’s lawyers (for patent registration, licensing agreements, IP valuation, alternative dispute resolution costs, etc.).
The Commission’s financial contribution of 2 million euros will be allocated entirely to patent services, for example to reimburse the registration costs incurred in patenting the inventions of SMEs in a Member State.
The EUIPO will manage the Fund through calls for proposals which will be published via the EUIPO website.
On the occasion of the European Industry Days (8-11 February 2022), a special session will be held on the Fund for SMEs, during which SMEs will be able to ask questions of the experts managing the Fund and receive practical guidance on how to submit applications for the different services. The special session is scheduled for 11 February 2022 and can be followed at a distance by registering for the European Industry Days.