€47 million fund to protect intellectual property of EU SMEs in their COVID-19 recovery and green and digital transitions
The Commission and the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) yesterday launched the new EU SME Fund, which offers vouchers for EU-based SMEs to help them protect their intellectual property (IP) rights. This is the second EU SME Fund aiming at supporting SMEs in the COVID-19 recovery and green and digital transitions for the next three years (2022-2024).
Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, yesterday 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.”
Commissioner for Internal Market, Thierry Breton, yesterday 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.”
The EU SME Fund, with a budget of €47 million, will offer the following support:
- Reimburse 90% of the fees charged by Member States for IP Scan services, which provide a broad assessment of the intellectual property needs of the applying SME, taking into account the innovative potential of its intangible assets;
- Reimburse 75% of the fees charged by intellectual property offices (including national intellectual property offices, the European Union Intellectual Property Office and the Benelux Intellectual Property Office) for trademark and design registration;
- Reimburse 50% of the fees charged by the World Intellectual Property Organisation for obtaining international trade mark and design protection;
- Reimburse 50% of the fees charged by national patent offices for the registration of patents in 2022;
- From 2023, further services could be covered e.g. partial reimbursement of the costs of the patent prior art search, of the patent filing application; private IP advice charged by IP attorneys (for patent registration, licensing agreements, IP valuation, alternative dispute resolution costs, etc.).
SMEs need a flexible intellectual property toolbox and quick financing to protect their innovations. Hence, for the first time the new EU SME Fund is now also covering patents. The Commission's financial contribution, which amounts to €2 million, will be dedicated fully to the patent related services. For instance, an SME could apply for the reimbursement of the registration fee to patent its invention in a Member State.
EUIPO will manage the SME Fund through calls for proposals. The first call was launched yesterday on the EUIPO website.
In order to ensure fair and equal treatment of potential beneficiaries as well as safeguarding an efficient management of the action, the application for grants will be open throughout the period 2022-2024. The applications will be examined and evaluated based on a ‘first in first out' criterion. SMEs with no experience in the area of intellectual property are encouraged to apply first for an IP Scan service and only subsequently to the other services.
At the EU Industry Days (8-11 February 2022) a special session will be dedicated to the SME Fund allowing SMEs to ask questions of the experts managing the Fund and receiving a practical guide on how to apply for the different services. The special session is scheduled for 11 February 2022. It can be followed remotely by subscribing to the EU Industry Days.
Latest News from
NextGenerationEU: European Commission disburses €271 million in pre-financing to Finland21/01/2022 15:25:00
The European Commission has today disbursed €271 million to Finland in pre-financing, equivalent to 13% of the country's financial allocation under the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF).
EU challenges Russian export restrictions on wood at WTO21/01/2022 13:25:00
Today, the EU is requesting consultations with Russia at the World Trade Organization (WTO) concerning export restrictions placed by Russia on wood products.
‘State of the World' Special Address by President von der Leyen at the World Economic Forum, via videoconference21/01/2022 11:33:00
‘State of the World' Special Address given yesterday by President von der Leyen at the World Economic Forum, via videoconference.
Protecting consumers from misleading reviews: 55% of screened websites violate EU law21/01/2022 10:38:00
The European Commission and national consumer protection authorities yesterday released the results of an EU-wide website screening (“sweep”) on online consumer reviews.
Speech by President von der Leyen at the European Women on Boards' Gender Diversity Award21/01/2022 09:25:00
Speech given yesterday by President von der Leyen at the European Women on Boards' Gender Diversity Award.
Speech by Executive Vice-President Vestager on the Digital Services Act20/01/2022 16:33:00
Speech given yesterday by Executive Vice-President Vestager on the Digital Services Act.
European Globalisation Adjustment Fund: €2.8 million to support dismissed workers in the Spanish car industry20/01/2022 15:25:00
Today, the European Commission proposes to support 450 workers who lost their jobs in the car industry in the Spanish region of Catalonia with €2.8 million from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund for Displaced Workers (EGF).
Intellectual property: Statement by EU Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton welcoming the provisional application of the Unitary Patent20/01/2022 14:33:00
Intellectual property: Statement given yesterday by EU Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton welcoming the provisional application of the Unitary Patent.
Speech by Commissioner Breton on the Digital Services Act20/01/2022 13:25:00
Speech given yesterday by Commissioner Breton on the Digital Services Act.
EU Cohesion policy: Almost €385.5 million from the EU Solidarity Fund to 19 countries to tackle the coronavirus health emergency20/01/2022 12:38:00
The Commission completed the payments of the EU Solidarity Fund (EUSF) assistance to tackle the coronavirus health emergency to 19 countries for a total amount of almost €385.5 million.