For those interested in applying for trademarks and designs this year, there is an opportunity for some savings. The European Union has opened a dedicated 20 million Euro fund to assist the utilisation of intellectual property by small and medium enterprises (SMEs). For approved candidates, the fund will provide grants of up to 1500 Euro, which can be used to reimburse up to 50% of the EUIPO or national office fees for trademark and design applications. In addition, the funding can be used for the "IP Scan" service, which will assist businesses in identifying registrable IP rights. The process
- You need to be an EU-based SME under the EU's criteria (fewer than 250 employees, as well as a turnover of 50m Euros or less, or a balance sheet total of 43m Euros or less).
- You apply for a grant in the relevant application period - the first one is from 11 to 31 January 2021.
- If you are approved, you can proceed to making your trademark/design applications or using IP Scan.
- After the applications have been submitted (must be done within 30 days of funding approval), you can request reimbursement from the European authorities, and payment will be made within a month.
- If you have not registered your trademarks and designs yet, this might be a good opportunity to do it, since it makes the process even more affordable. For example, when registering an EU Trademark, the savings are a minimum of 425 Euros.
- The funding may be used up quickly, and as such it is recommended to apply as soon as possible.
- The approval for financing takes a some time and as such slows down the registration. Nevertheless, you can make use of this additional time with preparatory activities such as a trademark search.
- Consult a specialist before making your application to ensure that your trademarks and designs are carefully prepared and give you the necessary protection for your business.