Expert consultation services: a game changer for SME intellectual property protection

06 May, 2024
Expert consultation services: a game changer for SME intellectual property protection
Benefits of IP
Find out what IP Scan Enforcement is and how it can help your business thrive.

In today’s digital landscape, exploiting a company’s intellectual property (IP) is essential to ensuring its growth. However, for many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across Europe, dealing with the complexities of IP enforcement can be an overwhelming task. This is where IP Scan Enforcement comes in, providing tailored solutions to help SMEs protect their intellectual assets.

What is infringement and how does IP Scan Enforcement help SMEs?

In simple terms, IP infringement refers to the unauthorised use of someone else’s property. It occurs when someone copies or uses a product, idea or design that belongs to someone else without proper authorisation. This can be particularly damaging to SMEs as it can negatively impact their business and their ability to profit from their own creations.

IP Scan Enforcement helps SMEs facing IP rights infringement issues. Whether they have been accused of infringement themselves, or another party is violating their rights through activities such as counterfeiting and piracy, IP Scan Enforcement offers support and various strategies to deal with this. With IP Scan Enforcement, SMEs receive tailored consultancy and a clear report with actionable steps provided by an expert, all in their own language.

IP Scan Enforcement is now available in Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Cyprus, Latvia, Portugal and Slovenia. Additionally, national IP offices such as the ones in Italy and Austria offer similar services.

Jure, a success story

Jure, an opera singer and small-scale entrepreneur, used the EUIPO to register a trade mark. However, a few months later two large companies filed for oppositions against his trade mark. ‘It was scary at first. What should I do? Two big companies are against my trade mark,’ Jure recalls.

Meeting Anže, an expert in the IP field within a business incubator was a turning point. ‘For micro companies, the challenge is lacking financials,’ explains Anže. ‘They are putting all their resources into developing the product, marketing and in the end, they lack the financing to take care of their IP, which is growing in importance vastly. This is an issue that can be overcome by using this service.’

Financial support to European SMEs

To address these challenges, SMEs can apply for the SME Fund, which provides a 90 % reimbursement for the costs of IP Scan Enforcement services.

After receiving confirmation of their grant, SMEs can contact their national IP office to receive a list of IP Scan Enforcement experts. Through a simple three-step process, SMEs complete a self-assessment, they meet with the expert and shortly after receive a document with the recommended steps to follow. ‘For an artist like me it was a pleasant experience, it was manageable to go through this service and the advice was very helpful,” Jure explains.

IP enforcement, endorsed by the European Commission

The European Commission has endorsed the enforcement of IP rights and highlighted the value of services such as IP Scan Enforcement. The Commission recognises that IP rights are an integral part of the EU economy. However, counterfeiting and piracy pose significant risks, undermining investment and innovation for EU businesses and putting consumers and the environment at risk. SMEs are particularly vulnerable and are more likely to fail as a result of IP rights infringements than larger companies.

SMEs can visit the SME Fund website to learn more, or they can click here to apply now.