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Protect your trade marks and designs in the European Union

Protect your intellectual property in the European Union

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IP Scan

Identify your intellectual property and learn how to incorporate an IP strategy into your company’s business plans.

Protecting your intellectual property (IP) is the only legal way to avoid having your unique ideas, products, or services copied or used without permission.

An IP Scan puts you directly in contact with an IP expert designated from a National IP office who will work with you to review your business model, products/services, and growth plans.

Collaboratively, you'll figure out what intangible assets to protect and in what way your IP can help support business growth. IP Scan is not a legal service, it is meant to help guide your business on how to register and capitalise on its IP, now and in the future.

IP Scan is offered in the EU Member States countries indicated below.

“This was very good and very relevant for us. It saved my time, I got expert help with it, and now we have the trade marks so it increases the value of our company.”

- Laura Andelin, ONIT Sport (Finland)

IP Scan basics

An IP Scan can establish the basis of your company’s intellectual property strategy.

Protected intellectual property encompasses various registrable and non-registrable assets, including trade marks, designs, and patents. Registered intangible assets not only offer legal protection. They also give you exclusivity and a competitive advantage on the market.

High-value IP can be used to establish new sources of income such as from licensing, sales, or co-branding agreements. When it comes to obtaining financing, registered IP is considered indicative of a company being strong and healthy.

  • Review your business model with an IP expert
  • Learn what your company’s IP assets actually are and how to register and manage them
  • Identify ways to protect your IP and what to do if someone infringes upon your rights
  • Discover how to prevent IP conflicts with competitors or potential partners
  • Devise a clear IP strategy for your company - what to register, where to register, and how to exploit your IP through licensing, partnerships, internationalisation, etc.

Your company may have one or several intangible assets at its disposal and not even know it:

  1. The basics: Your company name and its online domain name
  2. Registrable IP: trade marks, patents, designs, utility models, copyrights, plant varieties, or geographical indications
  3. Non-registrable IP: trade secrets and unregistered designs

The IP Scan Process

An IP Scan is comprehensive and collaborative. Getting IP expert help, you’ll examine every aspect of your company’s IP.

Every intangible asset your company might hold is evaluated during an IP Scan, which is why it is so important to ensure the IP expert helping you has all the pertinent information. The process requires a time commitment on the part of your company to gather the required information, to go through the interview process, and to collaborate with the IP expert. An IP Scan is divided into three phases:

1. Preparation
The preparation phase, where your company needs to complete a short self-assessment questionnaire. This is reviewed by the IP expert in order to understand your company’s relationship with intellectual property.
2. Analysis
The analysis phase, where the IP expert conducts interviews with you to explore your business model, assess your IP, and identify the most appropriate IP strategy for your company.
3. Report
The report phase, where the IP expert presents the findings of the analysis and offers recommendations on how to integrate an IP strategy into your company’s business plan.

IP Scan Report

The IP expert’s report contains the overall findings of the first and second phases and covers five main topics:

SME’s business model and company strategy

Identification and analysis of existing IP and IP-relevant assets

Use of IP searches

IP management and strategy: how best to manage your IP assets

Summary and strategic recommendations

IP Scan is covered by the SME Fund

Get 90% of the IP Scan cost reimbursed through the SME Fund grant.

Financial help is available

The SME Fund is a grant scheme designed to help European Union (EU) small- or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with IP registration costs. SMEs that carry out an IP Scan can get 90% of the cost of the service reimbursed by first securing an SME Fund grant from the EUIPO.

An opportunity exclusive to EU SMEs

In order to request a grant, your company needs to be an SME established in the European Union. You should review the official EU definition of an SME to ensure that your company is eligible.


The SME Fund application process doesn’t require a lot of forms or paperwork. You just need to have some basic information ready, such as your company’s VAT certificate and bank account details.

The first step is to apply for the SME Fund and get approved for a grant. It takes little time to apply and just a few days to hear back.

For more information, visit the SME Fund homepage and select your country for details. Once there, you can also take a look at our FAQs if you have any questions or contact us directly via our online chat. You can also contact your national IP office at the above links.


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