Funds are limited and available on a first come, first served basis.
Why protecting your intellectual property is necessary
Who can benefit from the SME Fund
How the SME Fund works:
To use for IP Scan, trade mark and design fees.
To use for patent fees.
To benefit from the SME Fund, you need to:
- Register, log in to your ‘SME Fund account’ and submit an application form.
- Once your application is approved, you will receive a grant award notification and your voucher(s)*. You can then request the IP activities you require.
- In order to be reimbursed for your requested IP activities, you need to apply for reimbursement after you have paid for the activities using the form available in your SME Fund account.
Make sure that you use your voucher(s) during the validity period!
Once you have activated your voucher(s), there is an ‘implementation period’ during which you can request further activities and ask for additional reimbursement. This period lasts:
- 6 months for Voucher 1
- 12 months for Voucher 2
Activities you can apply for
90% reimbursement for IP pre-diagnostic services (IP Scan)
- Through arranged interviews with an IP expert designated by the national IP office, you collaboratively examine your business model, products or services and growth plans to determine the most appropriate IP strategy for your business. IP Scan does not constitute a legal service.
- After the assessment, the IP expert will provide you with a full report on your IP strategy and propose a set of best practices and recommendations on how to manage, protect, and develop your IP rights in the future.
- IP Scan covers all intellectual property rights (trade marks, designs, patents, utility models, plant varieties, geographical indications) as well as those that are unregistered/unregistrable (e.g. copyrights, trade secrets, company names, domain names).
- For more information on IP Scan within the framework of the SME Fund, please consult the IP office website.
The level of protection you choose (national, regional, EU, or international) will depend on your business strategy and your growth plans. If you are unsure about what sort of protection to apply for, or at which territorial level, an IP pre-diagnostic service (IP Scan) or a free IP consultation (pro bono service) can help you make the right choice.
- 75% reimbursement of trade mark and design fees at EU level:
You can apply for a 75% reimbursement of trade mark and/or design application fees, additional class fees, and examination, registration, publication and deferment of publication fees at EU level. The registration for this type of protection should be performed through the EUIPO.
- 75% reimbursement of trade mark and design fees at national and regional level
You can apply for a 75% reimbursement of trade mark and/or design application fees, additional class fees, and examination, registration, publication and deferment of publication fees at national and regional level. The registration for this type of protection should be performed directly through a national IP office or the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property (for protection at regional level covering Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg).
- 50% reimbursement of trade mark and design fees outside the EU
You can apply for a 50% reimbursement of trade mark and/or design basic application fees, designation fees, and subsequent designation fees outside the EU. Designation fees for EU countries are excluded as are handling fees charged by the office of origin. The application for this type of protection should be performed through the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
- 50% reimbursement of patent fees at national level
You can apply for a 50% reimbursement of patent pre-grant (e.g. filing, search, and examination), grant, and publication fees at national level. The registration for this type of protection should be performed directly through a national IP office.