The Ideas Powered for Business SME Fund is a grant program created to support the intellectual property rights of small and medium-sized European enterprises (SMEs). It has been launched with a budget of €47 million. This is the second EU fund to support companies in their COVID-19 recovery and green and digital transformation over the next three years (2022-2024). Its duration is scheduled from January 10, 2022, to December 16, 2022. A grant application can be submitted by an SME, an employee, or an authorized representative acting on its behalf. The number of funds is limited and grants are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.
There are two types of vouchers available under the fund:
- Voucher 1, i.e. up to EUR 1,500 to be used in connection with fees for trademark or design applications.
- Voucher 2, or up to 750 EUR to be used for patent fees.
To use the SME Fund, you need to register on the EUIPO website, create an SME Fund Account and send in a grant application form. Once the application is approved, the applicant receives a notification and vouchers that are valid for 4 months after receiving the grant (the so-called activation period). During this period, the applicant can apply for intellectual property protection (e.g. apply for a trademark). Once the applications have been paid, a request for reimbursement must be filed:
75% refund of fees for trade mark and design at the European Union level
75% of the trade mark and design fees reimbursement at national and regional levels
50% reimbursement of non-EU trade mark and design fees
50% reimbursement of design fees at the national level
The activation period is followed by a so-called “Exercise Period” during which the applicant can do further acts within the amounts granted by the voucher. The performance period lasts 6 months for Voucher 1 and 12 months for Voucher 2.
In 2021, The Commission, together with the EUIPO, launched the first EU SME Fund, offering reimbursement services for the IP Scan service and for the costs of registering national trademarks and industrial designs. A total of 12,989 SMEs from all 27 Member States benefited from the €6.8 million budget. In its first year of the SME Fund, 28 065 services were provided.
Please feel free to contact our law firm for more detailed information or assistance with your application.