SME Fund 2024: Continued support for EU SMEs to protect their intellectual property

26 January, 2024
SME Fund 2024
Benefits of IP
The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and the European Commission have launched the 2024 edition of the Ideas Powered for Business SME Fund, which offers intellectual property vouchers for EU-based small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The SME Fund 2024 follows the resounding success of the 2023 edition of the fund, which received over 35 000 applications.

The SME Fund is a European Commission initiative, administered by the EUIPO, which has been benefitting SMEs since 2021 by offering them partial reimbursement on their intellectual property fees. Since SMEs account for 99% of businesses and are responsible for about three-quarters of employment in the EU, it is essential that they protect their intangible assets with a flexible intellectual property toolbox in order to attract investment and scale up.

Legal costs for patents and continued support for Ukrainian SMEs

This year’s SME Fund offers funding for an even broader range of services, including the legal costs for drafting and filing a European patent application (up to a maximum of 50 %, or EUR 2 000 if delivered by a professional representative from the EPO official list) and reimbursement for IP Scan Enforcement (in countries of participating offices).

In continuation of the initiatives implemented in 2023, Ukrainian SMEs will continue to have the opportunity to apply. This measure, which is a part of a wider array of EUIPO initiatives to support Ukraine, gives Ukrainian businesses an unprecedented opportunity to access funds that can be invested in protecting their intellectual property.

The estimated budget for 2024 will be EUR 18.85 million for vouchers one and two (IP scan and trade mark or design protection) and EUR 1.15 million for vouchers three and four (patents and plant varieties).

For those interested in learning more about the SME Fund 2024, please sign up for the webinar which takes place on 6 February at 10:00 CET. Participants can send their questions in advance in the registration link.

Learn more about the SME Fund 2024.

Article first published here.