Insights & Media


2024 Edition – SME Fund Opening


The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) has opened another edition of the European Union Fund to support Industrial Property Rights of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), the purpose of which is to continue to stimulate economic growth and strengthen Industrial Property (IP) assets among companies.

The amount allocated for this year was 20 million euros for vouchers 1 and 2 (IP Scan and Trademarks and Design) and 3 million euros for vouchers 3 and 4 (Patents and Plant Varieties).

This new edition brings some new features, in particular, with regard to the extension of this Fund to a new service: IP Enforcement.

We summarise the types of vouchers available in this edition, as well as the reimbursement amount:

Voucher 1: IP Scan and IP Enforcement Services

  • 90% reimbursement in Portugal up to €810
  • 90% reimbursement in other EU Member States up to €1,350

Voucher 2:  Applications for Registration of Trademarks, Designs or Models

  • 75% Reimbursement of fees up to €1,000 for national, regional and European Union applications
  • 50% Reimbursement of fees up to €1,000 for international applications

Voucher 3: Patent Applications

  • 75% Reimbursement of fees up to €1,500 for national and European applications
  • 50% Reimbursement on the costs of drafting and filing European patent applications up to €2,000

Voucher 4: Community plant varieties

  • 75% Refund of the amount of the online application and examination fee up to €1,500

According to the published data, in 2023 alone, the EUIPO received 34,800 applications from SMEs in the European Union, which represents a growth of 55% compared to 2022, with 78% of the applications submitted being made by new companies or start-ups, which reflects a growing interest in intellectual property (IP) by the business sector. Portugal increased the number of applications submitted by 64%.

The expectation is that this new grant will substantially increase the take-up of intellectual property services by companies compared to previous years, and that, naturally, everyone can enjoy the protection of their IP rights at a lower cost.