We are delighted to share the news with clients and contacts that the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) has launched its IP Access scheme providing SMEs with up to £5,000 (including VAT) to help protect and commercialise their IP. The scheme is part of a new government initiative to support post-pandemic recovery.

Who can apply?

The IP Access scheme follows on from the UKIPO's IP audit programme and only businesses that have been awarded part-funding for an IP audit between April 2020 to March 2022 can apply for the funding. All applications must be submitted by a nominated partner organisation, which include Innovate UK Edge (formerly Enterprise Europe Network), Scottish Enterprise and the Highlands and Islands Enterprise, or the Welsh Government.

What does it cover?

IP Access funding can be used to cover the cost of a variety of services related to:

  • The management of IP assets
  • Commercialisation of IP
  • Licensing and franchising agreements
  • IP insurance
  • IP valuation
  • Tax relief advice
  • Professional fees for IP services in the UK and abroad

The funds cannot be used to cover official filing fees for filing patents, trade marks or registered design applications. The scheme does however encompasses a wide range of tasks and it is envisaged that SMEs will be able to use the funds for various IP related activities, such as performing patent drafting and freedom to operate projects.

What are the benefits?

The scheme is tailored to help businesses perform follow up work based on the results of their IP audit and allows them to execute their IP strategy. IP Access is a competitive grant funding scheme, so applicants will need to put forward a strong case to be successfully accepted. To ensure SMEs are able to benefit fully from this welcome initiative, we recommend getting in touch with Marks & Clerk who can work with you and a nominated partner organisation to complete your application.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.