Europe has been by excellence an area of recognition of intellectual property rights, an area which has been and continues to be regulated in detail in all the countries of the European space. Moreover, the European attitude regarding rights has slowly been adopted by non-European countries, therefore we can say that at a global level structures have been created over time to monitor the enforcement of these rights.
In turn, the EU wants to support awareness of the importance of intellectual property rights in the business environment, so in recent years a programme has been established to provide financial support to small and medium-sized enterprises seeking to register trademarks, designs and/or industrial designs, or patents, either at national or European level. The programme (the SME fund “Ideas powered for business”) has been operational since the previous years and is still available for the year 2024, for the time period between 22nd January and 6th December 2024.
The programme is aimed to the following categories:
- medium-sized enterprises with fewer than 250 employees and a turnover of less than EUR 50 million
- small enterprises with less than 50 employees and a turnover of less than EUR 10 million
- micro-enterprises, with less than 10 employees and a turnover of less than EUR 2 million
It is worth noting that all these types of businesses must be based in the EU to be eligible under the programme.
Therefore, if a company which falls into one of the 3 categories mentioned above wishes to register a trademark, a design and/or industrial design or a patent, it can apply to the SME fund “Ideas powered for business” for a reimbursement of part of the official fees payable in such cases, as follows:
- for trademarks and designs and/or industrial designs, 75%, but no more than EUR 1000, of the official fees for filing, examination, registration and publication in official journals shall be reimbursed. This reimbursement is made both for trademarks and designs and/or industrial designs filed nationally (for Romania, i.e. those filed at OSIM) and for trademarks and designs and/or industrial designs filed at EUIPO for the European Community.
- for patents, 75% of the fees for documentary search reports carried out prior to the filing of a patent application and 75% of the official fees for filing, examination, registration and publication of a patent, either at national or European (EPO) level, up to a maximum of EUR 1500, are reimbursed.
- also for patents, 50%, but no more than EUR 2000, of the legal costs of filing an European patent are reimbursed.
It is worth mentioning that requests for reimbursement for any of the above mentioned operations can only be made after the eligibility criteria of the company holding the trade mark, design and/or industrial design or patent in question have been verified. Reimbursement can only be made for filing/examination/registration/publication operations which are initiated only after the grant decision and the corresponding voucher have been received from the EUIPO or EPO (i.e. no reimbursement can be made for a trade mark, design and/or industrial design or patent which has already been filed for registration).
If you find this information useful and are interested in obtaining European financial support in your efforts to register your intellectual property rights, do not hesitate to contact us by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone: 0749122144.