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The “Ideas Powered for business” SME Fund

14 January 2022

Benefit from a partial reimbursement of the official fees paid as part of your IP filing projects

The Ideas Powered for business fund is a grant scheme of the European Commission, implemented by the EUIPO (European Trademark and Design Office), which allows for the partial reimbursement of fees paid for the filing of certain industrial property titles, through the sending of “voucher”.

An envelope of 16 million euros is allocated for 2022 for this programme, which aims to promote intellectual property among SMEs. It will take place from 10 January 2022 to 16 December 2022, on a “first come, first served” basis. Hence, to have a chance to benefit from it, you will have to apply as early as possible in the year.

If you have plans to file trademarks, designs and/or patents in the coming months and you meet the criteria set out below, our firm proposes to apply for such grants on your behalf.

Who can benefit?

Any SME established in the EU, namely any enterprise which, according to its last closed annual accounts, fulfills the following cumulative criteria set out in the EU regulation (see here on the definition of an SME):

Be an enterprise, namely an entity engaged in an economic activity, irrespective of the legal form
Employ fewer than 250 persons (full-time, part-time or seasonal)
– Have either an annual turnover not exceeding EUR 50 million OR an annual balance sheet total not exceeding EUR 43 million.

If the business is newly established and does not contain such data, this justification should be based on a good faith estimate in the form of a business plan of the relevant data during the financial year.

Please note that the justification of these criteria will not be required in the context of the grant application, for which only a statement of good faith will have to be provided. However, it may be requested by the EUIPO when examining the grant application.

List of the required documents

– The bank statement of the company that will receive the refund
– The VAT certificate or the national registration number certificate of the company
– A “Declaration of honour” signed by a representative acting on behalf of the SME, in accordance with a pre-established model, attesting that the SME meets the eligibility criteria defined above and has not already received an EU grant in relation with the application project.


What form does the grant take?

Grants are awarded in the form of (cumulative) “vouchers” of two types:

Voucher 1: a €1500 voucher for the registration of certain trademarks or designs (see below for eligible trademarks and designs and the fees and amounts covered)
Voucher 2 a €750voucher for the filing of certain patents (see below for eligible patents and the royalties and amounts covered)

There is no limit to the number of IP rights (trademarks, designs or patents) that may be the subject of the grant application. However, the total amount of a grant is limited to a maximum of €2250 according to the distribution and upper limits mentioned above.

Once the grant has been awarded and the voucher issued by the EUIPO (within approximately 15 days of the application), the beneficiary has 4 months, which can be extended by 2 months, to “activate” the voucher, by paying one of the eligible fees identified below and then requesting a partial refund from the EUIPO.

Once the voucher has been activated, it remains valid for 6 months for trademark grants and 12 months for patent grants. During this “implementation period”, the beneficiary can accumulate royalty claims up to the upper limit of his voucher.


Which fees are eligible for reimbursement?


Regarding trademarks and designs :

Refund of 75% of the fees paid in connection with the filing of EU trademarks and/or designs with the EUIPO

Ex.: An EU trademark application in one class for which a fee of €850 is paid will be eligible for a refund of €637,50.

Refund of 75% of the fees paid for a national trademark application in an EU country or for a Benelux trademark

Ex: A French trademark application in one class, for which a fee of 190€ is paid will be eligible for a refund of 142,50€. This refund can be cumulated, for example, with a refund of the EU trademark application fee given in the previous example, and with other eligible fee refunds, up to a maximum amount of 1500€.

Refund of 50% of the fees paid for a non-EU international trademark and/or design registration at WIPO

Please note that the refund does not include the additional designation fee (or “individual fee”) that may be charged by the designated Office. For example, for a subsequent designation of an international trademark in black and white in a class designating the United States, only the basic subsequent designation fee, amounting to CHF 300, is eligible for a partial refund of 50%, and not the additional “individual” fee for the designation of the United States.


Regarding patents :

50% refund of fees paid in connection with a patent application to any national IP office in the EU or to the Benelux IP Office

Example: filing of a French patent application with 15 claims.
– Fees paid at filing (filing, search, claims): 378€
– Amount of the reimbursement by EUIPO: 189€

The maximum amount of the grant (€750) allows, for example, to benefit from this reimbursement for 3 French patent applications to be filed in the next 12 months.

Please feel free to contact us regarding any further information.

Your key contacts :

Delphine Rudloff
Partner – Lawyer at the Paris Bar
Head of Trademark Department

delphine.rudloff@abello-ip.com

&

Jean-Baptiste THIBAUD pour les Brevets
European Patent Attorney
Head of Patent Department
jean-baptiste.thibaud@abello-ip.com

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