January 31

SME Fund (SME Fund): how to protect your intellectual property at a lower cost?

The SME Fund (SME Fund) is an initiative of the European Commission, implemented by the European Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), which aims to help small and medium-sized enterprises in the EU to protect their intellectual property rights.

This grant program, created in 2021, allows SMEs to obtain partial coverage of fees related to trademark and design filings in the form of a post-filing fee refund of up to €1,000.

What is the SME Fund?

The SME Fund has an annual envelope of EUR 25 million. Funds are allocated on the basis of the 1er arrived, 1er served. Therefore, the application should be submitted as soon as possible.

An SME can submit an application every year: it is therefore possible to receive a grant in 2024, even if you have already benefited from the scheme in a previous year.

On the other hand, you must not receive another European grant for the same activities (if you are already receiving a European grant for your trademark applications, you cannot combine it with the SME Fund).

How does the SME Fund work?

The SME Fund allows SMEs that apply to have a portion of their trademark and design registration fees covered.

The procedure consists of 4 steps:

(Source: EUIPO)

The reimbursement comes at the end of the procedure, once the trademarks (or designs) have been filed. It cannot exceed 1000 €.

The amount of the refund will depend on the deposits that have been made:

  • For a deposit in the EU (national brand in EU / European brand), the refund will be 75% of deposit taxes.
  • For a European trademark application in 3 classes, the amount of fees is 1050 €. If you obtained an SME Fund grant before filing, you will be able to recover 75% of the taxes, which is a refund of €787.50. The European deposit will have cost only 262,50 € of taxes.
  • For a French trademark application in 5 classes, the amount of fees is 350 €. Thanks to the SME Fund, it will be possible to recover 232,50 €. The remaining cost will be 117,50 €.
  • For a deposit outside the EU (international brand aimed at other territories), the reimbursement will concern 50% of taxes paid (basic fees and designation fees).
  • For an international trademark application in 1 class targeting Canada and China, the amount of fees will be approximately 1100 €. The SME Fund will provide a refund of about 550 €.

If the entire 1000 € envelope has not been used in a single deposit, it will be possible to keep it for a few months and use it for a second deposit.nd deposit.

Who can benefit from the SME Fund?

To benefit from the SME Fund, you must be an SME established in the European Union.

An SME is defined as a micro, small or medium-sized enterprise:

Note that it is possible to apply for the SME Fund even if you are a micro-business.

Only SMEs established in one of the EU member states can apply for the SME Fund. Foreign companies (British, Swiss or American) will not be eligible for this grant.

How do I apply for an MHE Fund grant?

Interested SMEs may apply for the grant directly or through an agent. Our firm is authorized to represent you before the EUIPO and file a claim on behalf of your company. At the end of the process, reimbursement will be made directly to your company's account.

Since 2021, we have submitted grant applications for numerous clients (entrepreneurs and SMEs) who have been able to benefit from European and international deposits at lower cost.

In order to apply, the following documents are required:

  • Recent VAT document (tax memento; certificate of tax regularity) or a national registration extract (Kbis or SIRENE extracts) ;
  • The RIB of your company
  • A power of representation (if you use an agent)

The grant application is usually processed within 15 days. If the application is incomplete, the EUIPO will ask you for clarification.

My EMS Fund application has been accepted: what should I do?

Approximately 2 weeks after your SME Fund application, the EUIPO will inform you of its decision. If it has been validated, you will receive a virtual check worth 1000 €. It is now time to proceed with the filing of your trademark(s).

After the filing, it will be possible to ask the EUIPO for a refund. However, it will be necessary to prove that a trademark has been filed, by providing proof of filing (or by providing the filing number if it is a European trademark). The EUIPO will verify that the trademark owner corresponds to the grant recipient. If everything is correct, it will pay the reimbursement directly to the company's account, which was filled in during the application.

If you're interested, Yamark would be delighted to help you apply for funding for your SME. If so, please contact us via our dedicated SME Fund form: https://depot-de-marque.com/sme-fund/ and we will take care of everything.

Finally, we are at your disposal for any questions regarding this subsidy program as well as to assist you with your trademark applications.


Tags

trademark registration, EUIPO, SME Fund, SME, grant, European Union


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