The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) has published the 2022 call for grants from the Ideas powered for business SME Fund. The initiative was launched in 2021 thanks to “a joint effort between the EUIPO, the European Commission and EU national IP offices in response to the challenges faced by European SMEs due to the COVID-19 pandemic“.
More than 13,000 European SMEs received from aid in the 27 EU countries during the year just ended. The Fund has a 16 million euro endowment in 2022, and a number of novelties have been incorporated, which we will explore in this article.
To summarize, the most significant changes this year are:
- Fees for national patents are included (up to € 750)
- Grants for EU trademarks and designs have been increased from 50% to 75%.
- The call will be open from January 10 through 16 December 2022, instead of the previously scheduled dates of 2021.
Who can benefit from SME Fund?
The grants are designed for companies that fit the SME definition of the European Commission that can be found by clicking here.
The main indicators would be:
- 250 workers or less
- turnover equal to or less than 50 M€
- balance sheet equal to or less than €43 M
What is eligible?
- Trademarks and designs:
- Protection of trademarks and designs in the EU (at national, regional and EU level)
- Protection of trademarks and designs outside the EU under the international trademark system (The Madrid System) or the international design system (The Hague System).
- Patents: patent fees for the protection of national patents
How much is the grant?
Each SME is eligible for aid of up to € 2250, but there are limits:
- Trademarks and designs:
- EU brands and designs up to 75%
- Applications submitted under the Madrid or Hague system: up to 50%
- Patents: National patent fees: up to €750 (50%)
How can I apply?
The grants are not retroactive, that means that they must be requested prior to the corresponding procedures before the industrial and intellectual property office:
- Apply for the grant
- The Patent Office evaluates the application and notifies its assessment.
- If the grant is approved, apply for registration of the trademark(s) and/or design(s) and/or file the patent application. At least one of them must have been requested within four months (extendable to six) of the notification of approval. If this requirement is met, you have 12 months from the notification to file the patent application
- Request a refund for the amount of the grant obtained
When to apply for Ideas powered for business Fund grants?
The call will remain open from 10 January to 16 December 2022.
It should be borne in mind that funds are limited and available on a first come, first served basis.
- Trademarks & designs: €15 million
- Patents: 1 million euros
If the available budget have been used, the call will be closed.
Compatibility with the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office’s grants for patentes
The SME Fund is compatible with the yearly SPTO grants for patents, which, unlike those from EUIPO, can be applied for after starting the patent prosecution.
A guide for applicants written by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) can be found by clicking here.
You can also access to the official information website by clicking here.
Any specific questions related to this call should be addressed to the EUIPO Information Centre at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call directly at +34 96 513 9100