EU SME Fund for Intellectual Property to aid Covid Recovery

Submitted by Imogen Allan on 18 January 2022

The European Commission and the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) have launched a new EU SME Fund which offers vouchers for European SMEs to help them protect their Intellectual Property (IP) rights.  

The EU needs to increase the resilience of its SMEs to help them to cope with the COVID-19 crisis, as well as promote their green and digital transitions. A flexible intellectual property toolbox is key to protecting SMEs’ innovations.  

With a budget of €47 million, the new SME Fund will reimburse: 

  • 90% of fees charged by the Member States for IP Scan services 

  • 75% of fees charged by intellectual property offices  

  • 50% of fees for obtaining international trademark and design protection 

  • From 2023, further services could be covered 

EUIPO will manage the SME Fund through calls for proposals. The first call has launched on the EUIPO website. Applications will be evaluated on a first-come-first-serve basis and SMEs with no experience in the area of intellectual property are encouraged to apply first. 

Speaking of the new funding, Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: “Small is beautiful, but if SMEs want to grow or take the lead in new technologies, they need to protect their inventions and creations, as big companies do. New ideas and expertise are the main added value we have in the EU. With this Fund, we want to support SMEs to face those peculiar times and remain strong and innovative through the decades to come.” 

Adding to this, Commissioner for Internal Market, Thierry Breton, said: “It goes without saying that SMEs have been particularly impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. But what does not change is that they remain the backbone of our economy, of our ecosystems. This Fund will support SMEs to valorise their innovations and creativity. And this is crucial for SMEs to recapitalise and drive the green and digital transitions.” 

At the EU Industry Days 2022, there will be a session dedicated to the SME Fund, allowing SMEs to ask questions and find out more about how to apply. 

Learn more here. 

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