€60 million to protect intellectual property of EU SMEs
The European Commission and the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) recently launched the new 2023 EU SME Fund, which offers intellectual property vouchers for EU-based SMEs.
To scale up and attract investment, SMEs need to protect their intangible assets.
The 2023 SME Fund will support EU SMEs in their recovery from the economic crisis caused first by the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine. It will also help SMEs to step up their digital and green transition.
The new EU SME Fund, with its budget of €60.1 million, will offer the following services:
- reimburse 90% of the fees charged by EU countries for IP Scan services
- reimburse 75% of the fees charged by intellectual property offices (including national IP offices and EUIPO) for trademark and design registration
- reimburse 50 % of the fees charged by WIPO for obtaining international trade mark and design protection
For the first time, the 2023 SME Fund will also cover European patents and plant variety protection to stimulate innovation and investment.
From mid-February, the SME Fund will also reimburse 75% of the fees charged by national patent offices and the European Patent Office for the registration of patents; and 50% of the application fees charged by the Community Plant Variety Office for the registration of new plant varieties. From the second half of 2023, costs of initial enforcement-related advice could be also covered.
The action will be implemented by the European Union Intellectual Property Office through calls for proposals. The applications will be examined and evaluated based on a first comes first served criterion.
On 31 January, a webinar will demonstrate the new services and the application process. The event will provide a practical guide on how to apply for the different services.