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The EU SME Fund

The European Commission and the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) launched the new EU SME Fund that provides €47 million to protect intellectual property (IP) of EU small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in their COVID-19 recovery and green and digital transitions.

This is the second EU SME Fund aiming at supporting SMEs in the COVID-19 recovery and green and digital transitions for the next three years (2022-2024). The EU SME Fund runs from 10 January 2022 to 16 December 2022 and is in line with published the EU’s Action Plan on Intellectual Property to support the EU’s recovery and resilience.

Thierry Breton,  Commissioner for Internal Market said:

“It goes without saying that SMEs have been particularly impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. But what does not change is that they remain the backbone of our economy, of our ecosystems. This Fund will support SMEs to valorise their innovations and creativity. And this is crucial for SMEs to recapitalise and drive the green and digital transitions.”


The EU SME Fund will offer the following support:

Reimburse 90% of the fees charged by Member States for IP Scan services, which provide a broad assessment of the intellectual property needs of the applying SME, considering the innovative potential of its intangible assets;

Reimburse 75% of the fees charged by intellectual property offices (including national intellectual property offices, the European Union Intellectual Property Office and the Benelux Intellectual Property Office) for trademark and design registration;

Reimburse 50% of the fees charged by the World Intellectual Property Organisation for obtaining international trademark and design protection;

Reimburse 50% of the fees charged by national patent offices for the registration of patents in 2022;

From 2023, further services could be covered e.g. partial reimbursement of the costs of the patent prior art search, of the patent filing application; private IP advice charged by IP attorneys (for patent registration, licensing agreements, IP valuation, alternative dispute resolution costs, etc.).

Funding for patents since SMEs need a flexible intellectual property toolbox and quick financing to protect their innovations. The Commission’s financial contribution, which amounts to €2 million, will be provided to the patent related services.

EUIPO will manage the SME Fund through calls for proposals that are open in the period of 2022 until 2024. The applications will be examined and evaluated based on a first come, first served basis.

At the EU Industry Days (8-11 February 2022) a special session will be dedicated to the SME Fund.

In 2021, the first EU SME Fund was open to reimburse costs for services concerning IP Scan and national trademark and design registration. A total of €6.8 million of the budget has been used by 12.989 SMEs from all EU Member States.

For further details on the objectives, admissibility, eligibility and application concerning the SME Fund, please feel free to contact the EUFUNDINGHUB.

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