EU subsidies to protect the intellectual property of European SMEs

In the European Union (EU), Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) play a very important role: they represent more than 99% of all European companies and provide 67% of total employment.

In this context, Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) are key to helping them protect and exploit their intangible assets in the market, the result of their investments in innovation.

Aware of this, already in 2021, given the complications for the business environment caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the European Commission (EC) and the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) launched the “Ideas Powered for Business SME fund” program to push the protection of Intellectual Property (IP), in an attempt to make it more accessible to SMEs.

The new “SME Fund 2023” is the second call for proposals under the “Multiannual Fund for SMEs 2022-2024” and is part of the EC Single Market Program (SMP) to boost the competitiveness of SMEs.

The Fund for SMEs 2023 was born as a tool to help European SMEs so take advantage of their Intellectual Property assets, through financial support, leading to a reduction in IP-related costs, in particular, for those SMEs that want to protect its trademarks and designs at a national, European or international level.

These economic aids translate into reimbursements (“Bonds”) that cover up to a maximum of 1,350 EUR per SME for a preliminary diagnosis of Intellectual Property (“IP scan”) and up to 1,000 EUR for application fees for trademarks, drawings and models (i.e. a reduction of up to 75% of the official fees).

The 2023 SME Fund only admits one application per call but does not provide for limits on the number of applications for industrial property rights that SMEs can submit. It will be open until December 8, 2023, but it is recommended to apply for the aid as soon as possible since the funds are not unlimited and, if it meets the requirements, any SME established in an EU Member State can apply.

subsidies for trademark and industrial design protection of European SMEs

As a guide, to obtain financial aid for the registration of trademarks or industrial designs, the following must be done:

  1. Apply for the aid along with the required documents.
  2. Once the aid has been granted, proceed to the registration of the trademark or design at issue, within the established term, paying what corresponds.
  3. Submit the refund request.

If you have an SME established in the EU and you are interested in both the SUBSIDY and protecting your trademark or industrial design, get in touch with us: we can advise you and take care of all that.


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