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EUIPO
Protect your trade marks and designs in the European Union

Protect your intellectual property in the European Union

SME Fund


 
The Ideas Powered for business SME Fund is a grant scheme designed to help EU small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) 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 10 January 2022 to 16 December 2022.

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

Why protecting your intellectual property is necessary

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

Who can benefit from the SME Fund

The SME Fund offers financial support to SMEs established in the European Union. The application can be filed by an owner, an employee or an authorised representative of an EU SME acting on its behalf. Grants are always transferred directly to the SMEs.

How the SME Fund works:

Select

YOUR COUNTRY

The SME fund is a reimbursement programme that issues vouchers that can be used to partly cover the fees for the selected activities. There are two types of voucher available depending on the activity concerned: 

Voucher 1

Unavailable for new applications. More info.

To use for IP Scan, trade mark and design fees.

Voucher 2

€750

To use for patent fees.

 
 
 
 
 
 


To benefit from the SME Fund, you need to: 
 
  1.  Register, log in to your ‘SME Fund account’ and submit an application form.
  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
*Note: Vouchers are valid for 4 months from the moment you receive the grant, and can be extended by another 2 months during the last 30 days of the original 4-month period if required.  During this period, you can request and pay for IP activities and then request the corresponding reimbursement, thus activating your voucher(s).

Make sure that you use your voucher(s) during the validity period! 

Once you have activated your voucher(s), there is an implementation period’ during which you can request further activities and ask for additional reimbursement. This period lasts:
  • 6 months for Voucher 1      
  • 12 months for Voucher 2 
In each case you have an additional 30 days maximum to request reimbursement after the ‘implementation period’.

Activities you can apply for

The 2022 edition of the SME Fund covers several activities to help you implement your IP asset strategy depending of 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) even those that are unregistered/unregistrable (copyrights, trade secrets) as well as company names and 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 (pro bono 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 performed 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 performed 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 performed through the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

 

  • 50% reimbursement of patent fees at national level
    You can apply for a 50% reimbursement of patent pre-grant (e.g. filing, search, and examination), grant, and publication fees at national level. The registration for this type of protection should be performed directly through a national IP office.

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

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

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 a representative or you are a 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.

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 Frequently Asked Questions or chat with us online in English, French, German, Italian or Spanish. We are available 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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