EU fund urges SMEs to incorporate IPR

Many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) do not prioritise IP protection early enough and miss out on their competitive advantage and investment opportunities as a result. Through an IP fund aimed at SMEs, the EU Commission and the EUIPO now seek to change this and the latest application window just opened.

In a recent interview with Danish newspaper Børsen, EUIPO (European Intellectual Property Office) Executive Director Christian Archambeau explained that the number of SMEs that protect their intellectual property rights sits around a mere 10 percent.

This statistic is problematic as the European SMEs that fail to incorporate IP protection risk destroying their business models, missing out on investments, and, worst case, being sued for infringement.

Meanwhile, studies show that European SMEs that protect their intellectual property rights grow faster, pay better wages and are more robust, Archambeau tells Børsen.

At Plougmann Vingtoft, CEO Finn Strøm Madsen says the decision not to protect one’s IP rights is often based on a misconception that it is both expensive and difficult to do so.

“There is still a widespread myth that patenting is extremely expensive and time-consuming, but it couldn’t be more wrong. Unfortunately, the belief is strong and becomes a barrier for many start-ups and small businesses, who do not understand the true value of their ideas,” says Finn Strøm Madsen.

Cost reimbursement

In order to encourage more SMEs to apply for IP protection, the EU Commission and the European patent authority, EUIPO, have launched an information campaign as well as a fund to help SMEs make the most of their inventions and creations.

Through the Ideas Powered for Business SME Fund, European SMEs can apply for reimbursements covering up to 50% of the costs associated with patenting and trademark protection.

The fifth application window opens on September 1, and it is a good idea to strike while the iron is still hot as all applications are handled on a first come, first served-basis. As such, the application window closes once the full budget has been distributed among eligible applicants.

Read more about how your SME applies for funding here.

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If you are eligible for funding, you are more than welcome to contact our experts for advice on what service(s) to apply for.

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