Programa SME FUND 2024

SME FUND Programme 2024

European Union support plan for intellectual property protection


The European Union Intellectual Property Office EUIPO, in cooperation with the National Intellectual Property Offices, launched within its strategic plan a

This initiative is aimed at facilitating SMEs’ access to IP pre-diagnosis services and the registration of their trademark and design rights.

The services covered by this program are the following:

A first part corresponds to an IP pre-diagnosis service, provided by an EU national IP office (IP Scan Service, IP Scan Enforcement) ; this activity can obtain a 90% reimbursement, and is available to nationals of the following countries, through their National Intellectual Property offices:

  • IP Scan: Cyprus, Germany, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Ireland, Portugal, Croatia, Finland, Latvia, Sweden.
  • IP Scan Enforcement: Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Latvia, Slovenia.

The maximum reimbursable amount is EUR 1350 per company.

A second part corresponds to the protection of trademarks, designs and models in the EU, at national, regional and EU level.

It includes the following:

  • Reimbursement of up to 75% of EU trademark and design application fees , additional class fees, examination fees, registration fees, publication and deferment of publication fees;
  • Reimbursement of up to 75% of national or regional trademark and design application fees , additional class fees, examination, registration, publication and deferment of publication fees;
  • Reimbursement of up to 75% of basic fees for trademark and design application (through international channels) , designation fees and subsequent designation fees outside the EU. Designation fees from EU countries are included in the SME fund 2024 scheme. Processing fees charged by the office of origin are excluded.

The maximum reimbursable amount is EUR 1000.00 per company.

Programa SME FUND 2024

A third part corresponds to patent protection. This part excludes utility models.

In this activity, reimbursement of up to 75% of the following costs may be obtained:

  • Prior art report (prior to patent application); to be performed by the Industrial Property office of an EU member state or the Visegrad Patent Institute (whose members are: Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia).
  • Fees for pre-granting of patents, (filing, search and examination), granting and publication of national protection in an EU member state.
  • Fees for filing and searching European patents filed at the European Patent Office (EPO). All other fees for a European patent are excluded.

A reimbursement of up to 50% of the legal costs for drafting and filing European patent applications up to a maximum amount of EUR 2000.00 is also available. It is subject to the following conditions:

  • The service includes the drafting and filing of a European patent application.
  • The service has been provided by a professional representative, an attorney or an association of representatives, registered on the official list of the EPO.
  • The request for reimbursement must be filed online within the established deadlines. Other fees are excluded.

The maximum reimbursable amount is EUR 3500.00 per company.

The fourth corresponds to the plant variety rights within EU. In this activity, reimbursement of up to 75% of the following costs can be obtained:

Online application and examination fees for Community (EU) plant variety rights.

As the 2024 fund is limited, it is recommended to apply as soon as possible, as all applications will be rejected once the fund is exhausted.

Aid from this fund is limited to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), microenterprises and the self-employed. Large companies (>250 employees, > 50 million euros annual turnover, annual balance sheet >43 million euros), foundations, associations or universities are therefore excluded.

These grants are not compatible with other EU grants for the same activity or part of it.

The grant is distributed in the form of vouchers, which can be used for the various IP activities indicated above.

As in previous calls, prior to the implementation of the eligible activity, the relevant voucher must be requested and approved by the EUIPO. Only activities initiated after the beneficiary has been notified of the grant decision will be eligible.

The voucher will have a duration of two months, extendable for another two months upon express request, and will be activated after the first request for reimbursement, and will be extended for an additional period of 6 months for successive applications (for trademarks and designs) or 12 months (for patents) until the balance granted is exhausted or expires.

The vouchers are unique for each company, in each type of aid, so that once a voucher has expired a new one cannot be requested in this call.

Programa SME FUND 2024

When it is appropriate to apply for the voucher

It will be appropriate to apply for the voucher when it is foreseeable to perform any of the above activities in the near future, and when, at least in some cases, there is no urgency in obtaining a filing date for a national or European Union application, or to obtain the result of the diagnostic service performed by the competent body in each country.

In order to apply for the voucher it will be necessary to indicate the following:

  • Name of the SME
  • Copy of the SME’s VAT/ ID or certificate of registration in the RETA (Spain) for self-employed workers.
  • Indication of the legal owner of the SME
  • Statement that the SME meets the criteria established in the call for proposals.
  • Declaration that the SME does not fall into any of the exclusion categories indicated in the annex.
  • Certificate or identification document of the bank account, in the applicant’s name, into which the voucher amount is to be paid when it is used.
  • Signature of an application document, which we will provide in due course.

For the processing of each voucher, we will apply a minimum handling fee, which will be deducted from the professional fees of the first application submitted under the voucher.

If you would like us to apply for this funds on your behalf

Contact ABECSA