With the Ideas Powered for business SME Fund, the European Union is helping European SMEs with intellectual property (IP rights). The initiative is implemented by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and comprises a €47 million grant scheme.
Across Europe, startups and SMEs are the backbone of the economy. They employ hundreds of millions of people, account for more than half of the continent’s GDP, and have fostered innovation and business development that is shaping the future of European society. However, while Eurostat data shows that 50% of SMEs report innovation activities, only about 9% have registered intellectual property rights (IPRs).
IP is vital to promoting creativity and innovation and it’s fundamental to protect the entrepreneurs and innovators shaping change. IPRs give SMEs improved reputation and credibility, increased turnover and better market expansion prospects. Overall, revenue per employee is approximately 55% higher for enterprises that own IPRs than for those that do not.
The EU Trademark Office EUIPO has established a grant to support the official fees for trademark applications of SMEs. When you apply for a trademark, you must pay a fee to the government agency that handles the application, this grant is hugely popular for startups as the fees can be quite high (starting from €850). It’s important to know how to apply – so below we are listing all the relevant details. And if you’d like to have some further guidance or hands-on support, we’re recommending scheduling a free call with Reggster.
Reggster is an online legal service developed by a leading Northern European trademark law firm Ipriq Intellectual Property Law.
About the grant
Here are a couple of important points to know:
- The grant is €1000 per company, covering up to 75% of office fees.
- The grant can only be used for new trademark applications. It cannot be used to cover applications that have been made before receiving the grant decision from EUIPO. It also cannot be used to renew old registrations.
- Reggster can apply for the grant on your behalf. If you submit the required documentation to them, they will take care of submitting and monitoring the application on your behalf.
- The decision can normally be expected in about two weeks, although it is likely that at the beginning there will be delays due to the high volume of applications.
- The applicant must be a company or registered sole proprietorship. Individuals cannot apply for the grant. Also, the applicant must fulfil the SME criteria.
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Who can apply?
All SMEs established in the EU are eligible to apply for a grant, provided they meet the following criteria:
- Staff headcount of less than 250
- Annual turnover of no more than €50 million
- An annual balance sheet of no more than €43 million
These criteria are pretty wide, so it means that the vast majority of startups can apply and reap the benefits of the grant and IPRs as a result.
The grant provides a maximum amount of €1000 and can cover as much as 75% of the official application fee (government or EUIPO fee).
How to apply?
By partnering with Reggster, the application process is pretty straightforward. The EUIPO needs just three documents from each company to consider the application. This includes:
- Bank Details: The grant is paid directly to the applicant’s account after the application. VAT Certificate: In most countries, this can be printed from local tax authority’s websites.
- Power of Attorney: The EUIPO requires that the representative has a power of attorney issued by the applicant.
And that’s it! With these documents, Reggster can apply for the grant for you. Having these documents together can make a real difference to your startup’s success story – so apply now.
The cost of filing a successful grant application with Reggster is €150. If you do not get the grant, you will be reimbursed.
The application period for the grant has opened on January 23, 2023, however, it’s important to note that the amount of funds is limited. Last year more than 20k companies applied for the grant and the application period had to be closed prematurely. The funds are limited and given on first-come, first-served basis.