The SME Fund “Ideas Powered for business” is a trademark support program designed to boost small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the EU in the field of intellectual property rights (IP). The SME Fund is a grant from the European Commission executed by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and will be applied from January 22, 2024, to December 6, 20024.
This trademark support for SMEs and self-employed is LIMITED until depleted and is available on a “first come, first served” basis.
Who can benefit from these trademark support?
- All SMEs established in the EU can apply for these trademark support. Owners, authorized employees, or representatives can submit their grant application. A representative is defined as any third party, whether a natural or legal person, duly authorized by the SME to legally represent it. All grant reimbursements are deposited directly into the SME’s bank account indicated in the application.
|Annual Balance Sheet
|≤ 50 million EUR
|≤ 43 million EUR
|≤ 10 million EUR
|≤ 10 million EUR
|≤ 2 million EUR
|≤ 2 million EUR
What is eligible for trademark support?
- A reimbursement of 75% of the application fees for trademarks or designs, fees for additional classes, and fees for examination, registration, publication, and deferral of publication in the EU.
- A reimbursement of 75% of the application fees for trademarks or designs, fees for additional classes and fees for examination, registration, publication, and deferral of publication at the national and regional level.
- A reimbursement of 50% of the basic application fees for trademarks or designs, designation fees, and subsequent designation fees outside the EU. The designation fees of the EU countries are included in the SME Fund 2024 scheme. Processing fees charged by the office of origin are excluded. It should be noted that applicants from Ukraine cannot benefit from the 50% reimbursement regarding support for trademarks and designs outside the European Union.
If you received support from the SME Fund 2023 or 2022, you can reapply for the support in 2024 and benefit!
- Reimbursement of 75% of the fees for a “Search Report on Prior Art”.
- Reimbursement of 75% of the pre-grant patent fees (filing, search, and examination), grant, and publication for national protection in an EU Member State.
- Reimbursement of 75% of the filing and search fees for European patents filed at the EPO. All other fees related to a European patent are excluded.
- Reimbursement of 50% of the legal costs arising from the drafting and filing of European patent applications, up to a maximum amount of 2,000 euros, depending on the cost applicable at the national level for these services. The reimbursement is subject to the following conditions:
- The service includes the drafting and filing of a European patent application.
- The service has been provided by a professional representative, a lawyer, or an association of professional representatives established in the EU and registered on the official EPO list.
- The reimbursement application must be submitted online within the established deadlines. All other fees related to a European patent are excluded.
PLANT VARIETY SUPPORT – Community protection
- Reimbursement of 75% of the online application fee at the European Union level. Paper applications are not refundable under the SME Fund.
The maximum reimbursable amount per SME is: 1,000 EUR for trademark and design support; up to 3,500 EUR for patent applications; up to 1,500 EUR for the application of community plant varieties.
Can I obtain these support for trademarks, designs, a patent, or a community plant variety that have already been registered?
- No, your SME must first apply for a grant and wait for the EUIPO to respond with a decision on your trademark support, patents, designs, or plant varieties.
Can a self-employed person apply for the trademark and patent support from the SME Fund?
- – Yes, self-employed individuals can apply for these trademark and patent support to the SME Fund. If registered in the self-employed regime, the Certificate of registration in the Special Regime for Self-Employed Workers or Freelancers (RETA) will be necessary.
National trademarks and designs can be registered at any of the national intellectual property offices of the EU (offering national protection), at the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property (offering regional protection in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg), or at the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO, offering protection in all EU Member States).
Outside the EU, trademarks and designs can be registered at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
Regarding patents, for national protection in the EU countries, it must be presented at any of the EU national intellectual property offices. At the European level, it must be carried out directly through the European Patent Office (EPO).
And, as mentioned earlier, applications for plant varieties have to be made, online, to the Community Plant Variety Office.