The Ideas Powered for Business SME Fund is a software of the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) that aims to help European small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to protect and manage their intellectual property (IP) rights. This program is part of the Ideas Powered for Business initiative, which aims to raise awareness among SMEs of the importance of IP in the business environment.
The SME Fund provides financial support to SMEs that need help to protect and manage their IP rights. Specifically, the program offers grants of up to 1,000€ to cover the costs of IP services, such as applying for trademarks and designs in the EU (national, regional and EU level) or trademark, designs and outside the EU, as long as they are administered by the World Industrial Property Organization (WIPO).
SMEs wishing to apply for a grant from the SME Fund must meet certain requirements, such as being registered in an EU Member State, having fewer than 250 employees and an annual turnover of less than 50 million €, and demonstrating that IP protection and management is essential to their business.
One of the SME Fund’s key features is its focus on financial assistance to SMEs, enabling them to access IP services at a reduced cost. In addition, the software focuses on fostering innovation and business growth in Europe by protecting IP and promoting fair competition in the marketplace.
The main features of the software are outlined in five points:
I. Eligible activities
1. Protection of trade marks and designs in the EU (at national, regional and EU level).
Eligible IP rights are trade marks and designs filed directly with the EUIPO and IPOs in the Member States.
A reimbursement of 75 % of the fees for trade marks and designs in the EU (including application, class, examination, registration, publication and deferment of publication fees) will be available.
2. Trade mark and design protection outside the EU
International trademark and design rights outside the EU, provided they are administered by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).
A reimbursement of up to 50% of the basic fees for trademark and design applications and designation fees.
Designation fees originating from EU countries as well as processing fees charged by the office of origin are excluded.
II. Grant Amount
The SME Fund is a reimbursement software which issues vouchers that can be used to partially cover the fees for eligible activities.
The voucher can be obtained for a maximum amount of EUR 1.000 per beneficiary.
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from the 27 EU Member States. Individual entrepreneurs registered as self-employed may also be beneficiaries.
IV. Deadline for submission
The deadline for submission of applications is 8 December 2023. Applications submitted will be evaluated on a weekly basis and the results will be notified 10 working days after the Friday of the week in which the application was made.
V. Period of validity Voucher
The voucher received must be activated within two months of being granted, extendable for a further two months.
After activation, a non-extendable period of six months is established for its application in any of the procedures described in section I.
Marqués & Ferrer can manage the application for aid on behalf of our clients, as well as the activation and application of the voucher in all trademark, design and model applications.