Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) based in the European Union are crucial for the European economy, and the COVID-19 pandemic affects the competitive position of these SMEs. Accordingly, a fund under the European Commission's new IP Action Plan was set up in December 2020 to help SMEs manage their IP assets.
There will be five application windows with different deadlines, however, it is recommended to apply as soon as possible since each application window will close as soon as the available budget is reached.
The first application window, covering reimbursements of up to a maximum of EUR 1,500 for IP pre-diagnostic services (IP scan) and/or trademark and design applications, opened Monday and closes on 31 January.
The IP scan service may help SMEs decide what IP rights to apply for, how to develop their IP portfolios if they already have registered rights, and how to plan their strategies for the future.
Trademarks and designs can be applied for at one of the national intellectual property offices of the EU (national level), in the Benelux Office of Intellectual Property (covering Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg; regional level), or with the EUIPO (covering all the Member States of the EU).
More information about the deadlines and general guidelines can be found here https://euipo.europa.eu/ohimportal/en/grants-sme-fund#call-for-proposals.
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