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Protect your trade marks and designs in the European Union

Protect your intellectual property in the European Union


SME Fund 2023

The Ideas Powered for business SME Fund is a grant scheme designed to help EU small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) protect their intellectual property (IP) rights. The SME Fund is a European Commission initiative implemented by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and will run from 23 January 2023 to 8 December 2023.

Funds are limited and available on a first come, first served basis.

If you want to request reimbursement of your vouchers from the SME Fund 2022, access your SME Fund account to fill in the reimbursement request form.

Why protecting your intellectual property is necessary

Protecting your IP is a must in the digital age. It is a legal way to avoid having your unique ideas, products, or services copied or used without permission. IP protection through the SME Fund can cover many different assets, including trade marks, designs, patents and plant varieties.

Who can benefit from the SME Fund

The SME Fund offers financial support to SMEs established in the European Union. The application can be submitted by an owner, an employee or an authorised external representative acting on their behalf. Grants are awarded to the SME and the reimbursement is always transferred directly to the SME bank account.

How the SME Fund works:



The SME Fund is a reimbursement programme which issues vouchers that can be used to partly cover the fees for the selected activities. There are several types of vouchers available depending on the activity you want to implement:

IP Scan

Up to €1,350*

To cover the cost of IP Scan.

*Value varies depending on the country.


Trade Marks & Designs


To use for trade mark & design eligible fees.

Trade Marks & Designs


To use for trade mark & design eligible fees.


These are the steps for you to benefit from the SME Fund:

  1.  Register, log in to your ‘SME Fund account’ and submit the application form once you have decided which type of voucher(s) best suits your business needs. You may refer to the FAQs for more information.
  2.  Once your application is approved, you will receive a grant award notification and your voucher(s)*. You can then request the IP activities you require.
  3.  In order to be reimbursed for your requested IP activities, you need to apply for reimbursement after you have paid for the activities using the form available in your SME Fund account

Vouchers are valid for 2 months from the moment you receive the grant. This validity period can be extended by another 2 months. If you need an extension, you can request it directly through your SME Fund account during the last month of the original 2-month period. During this period, you can request and pay for the IP activities related to your granted voucher(s) and then request the corresponding reimbursement, thus activating your voucher(s).

Be sure to use your voucher(s) during their validity period!
If your voucher expires without being extended or activated, it cannot be used to request any reimbursement. You will not be entitled to request the SME Fund again for the same voucher, during the same year.

Once you have activated your voucher(s), there is an ‘implementation period’ during which you can request further activities and ask for additional reimbursement within the scope of your voucher(s). This period lasts:

  • 6 months for IP Scan, Trade Marks & Designs vouchers

Activities you can apply for

The 2023 edition of the SME Fund covers several activities to help you implement your IP asset strategy depending on the needs of your business.

90% reimbursement for IP pre-diagnostic services (IP Scan)

  • Through arranged interviews with an IP expert designated by the national IP office, you collaboratively examine your business model, products or services and growth plans to determine the most appropriate IP strategy for your business. IP Scan does not constitute a legal service.

  • After the assessment, the IP expert will provide you with a full report on your IP strategy and propose a set of best practices and recommendations on how to manage, protect, and develop your IP rights in the future.

  • IP Scan covers all intellectual property rights (trade marks, designs, patents, utility models, plant varieties, geographical indications) as well as those that are unregistered/unregistrable (e.g. copyrights, trade secrets, company names, domain names).

  • For more detailed information on the IP Scan service and its benefits, please visit the IP Scan page. For more information on IP Scan within the framework of the SME Fund, please consult your  IP office website.


The level of protection you choose (national, regional, EU, or international) will depend on your business strategy and your growth plans. If you are unsure about what sort of protection to apply for, or at which territorial level, an IP pre-diagnostic service (IP Scan) or a free IP consultation (Free personalised IP support service) can help you make the right choice.

  • 75% reimbursement of trade mark and design fees at EU level
    You can apply for a 75% reimbursement of trade mark and/or design application fees, additional class fees, and examination, registration, publication and deferment of publication fees at EU level. The registration for this type of protection should be through the EUIPO.

  • 75% reimbursement of trade mark and design fees at national and regional level
    You can apply for a 75% reimbursement of trade mark and/or design application fees, additional class fees, and examination, registration, publication and deferment of publication fees at national and regional level. The registration for this type of protection should be directly through a national IP office or the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property (for protection at regional level covering Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg).

  • 50% reimbursement of trade mark and design fees outside the EU
    You can apply for a 50% reimbursement of trade mark and/or design basic application fees, designation fees, and subsequent designation fees outside the EU. Designation fees for EU countries are excluded as are handling fees charged by the office of origin. The application for this type of protection should be through the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).


Your   IP Office also offers its own IP pre-diagnostic service which is not covered by the SME Fund. See here for more details.

Detailed information on limits and fees can be found in the call for proposals and corresponding annexes.

Before applying:

The application process is simple. Just make sure that you have the following documents ready when you apply. These documents must be in PDF format (scanned versions of physical documents in PDF format are accepted). All documentation submitted must be legible and without password protection.


Your company’s bank statement (sample) containing the following details: company name as account holder; full IBAN number with country code (examples); and BIC/SWIFT code.


Your company’s VAT certificate or national registration number certificate, issued by the competent national authority.


If your SME employs the services of an external representative or you are an external representative acting on behalf of an SME, you must submit a ‘Declaration of honour’ (template), signed by an authorised owner or employee of the SME.

Note: Be sure to have all your IP assets’ information ready, before starting the SME Fund application process to make the most out of your time.

List of fees and contacts

Below you can consult the list of reimbursable fees per activity and country, as well as the specific contacts at the EUIPO, WIPO and MS IPOs to get assistance with all aspects related to the SME Fund

This list is purely indicative and subject to further modification, as it compiles information from different sources. Please refer to the original source to get the most updated information

Here you can also find a summary of the Contacts at the National IP Offices (MS IPOs)

If you require assistance

You can find detailed information on the Ideas Powered for business SME Fund in the call for proposals.

If you have any questions, you can refer to our SME Fund Frequently Asked Questions or chat with us online in English, French, German, Italian or Spanish. We are also available at EUIPO Information Centre by calling +34 965 139 100 from Monday to Friday from 8.30 to 18.30 (GMT+1).

You can also send us an email enquiry in any one of the EU official languages information@euipo.europa.eu.

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