The Launch of Ideas Powered for Business SME Fund
20 January 2021
SMEs within the EU may now benefit from the ‘Ideas Powered for Business SME Fund’ – a 20 million Euro grant initiative kick-started in 2021 to assist SMEs safeguard their intellectual property rights.
Further to several fruitful initiatives to support Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) during the previous years, the European Commission together with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and in collaboration with the national-regional offices, have launched the Ideas Powered for Business SME Fund. This fund has been allocated 20 million Euros in order to promote the registration and protection of intellectual property (IP) rights by easing the burden on smaller businesses. The Fund is accessible to the eligible SMEs on a first-come first served basis in the form of refunds of up to €1,500 per SME, on the total of following services:
- Service 1: 50% off Trademark and Design applications– this refers to a possible refund of the costs associated with an application for trademarks or designs at national, regional and EU level. This refund shall be available to SME’s within all Member States.
- Service 2: 75% off IP pre-diagnostic services* – this refers to a possible reimbursement on professional services offered to assist SMEs in the preliminary work. These services comprise of advice which is tailor-made to the specific business in question, such as guidance on identifying the IP which requires protection and on developing an IP strategy, among others. However, these services are currently offered only through certain participating national and regional IP offices in the EU, which currently include Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Latvia, Slovakia and Spain. These services shall hopefully be provided by other Member States throughout the EU soon.
The grant will be offered to eligible SMEs, within the following four periods through 2021:
- From the 11 January 2021 to the 31 January 2021,
- From the 1 March 2021 to the 31 March 2021
- From the 1 May 2021 to the 31 May 2021, and
- From the 1 September 2021 to the 31 September 2021.
Who is eligible and HOW to apply?
Any established micro, small and medium sized entity is entitled to apply, regardless of the legal form provided it is deemed to be an ‘SME’ in terms of EU regulations, which definition considers the size and resources of the enterprise. The application process is straightforward, provided that only one application per window (indicated above) shall be considered and the applicant cannot apply for the same service twice in case of a previous successful application. The SME must apply online for the applicable service within the prescribed window mentioned above and in compliance with the submission rules which are issued through the call for proposals. The SME must apply for the grant in relation to upcoming future trademark-design applications and/or diagnostic services, therefore it shall not be possible for the SME to apply for the grant for past applications or services already received.
The SME must first apply for the grant, then upon submitting the required documentation, wait for the acceptance decision of the application. In case the application is rejected, the SME will be informed accordingly. In case the grant is accepted, the SME will be provided with a decision certificate and a link. The SME must then apply and pay for the trademark - design and/or diagnostic service with the desired IP Office within 30 days following such acceptance. Finally, the SME must request the reimbursement through the received link and the refund should then be provided to the SME within one month.
The first window is currently open and will remain so until the 31 January 2021.
Get in touch with our Legal Team, who can provide you with the right guidance and support you further through the application process: