The Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SME) fund "Ideas powered for business" has successfully completed its second year of support and received 161 applications from Latvian SMEs in 2022, which is 30% more than the previous year. The fund provides financial support for the protection of intellectual property rights of European Union (EU) SMEs, where in 2022 there was the opportunity to apply for partial reimbursement for any of the following actions:
- Intellectual property (IP) pre-diagnostic service (IP Scan);
- Trademark and design registration applications;
- National patent applications.
So far, the fund has provided support to almost 22,000 SMEs in all 27 EU countries. The most applications were received from companies in Spain (3622), Poland (2746), Italy (2429) and France (1855). The majority of companies applied for trademark and design application grants (21,504), but for national patent applications, which is a new addition to the 2022 SME fund, 2208 applications were received from all over the EU, including 10 from Latvia.
Latvian companies have applied for a total of 236 services. The requests from Latvian SME fund were mostly from manufacturing sector companies, followed by wholesale and retail industries, as well as companies from the services sector.
"In Latvia and throughout the EU, small and medium-sized enterprises determine the pace of economic development and drive innovation. Extensive, EU-wide studies confirm that SMEs that protect their intellectual property and skillfully commercialize it have significantly higher development potential than companies that do not. Trademarks, patents, and design registration promote investment, build reputation, increase the income of the company and its employees. The main reason for the lack of concern for one's intellectual property is the idea that registering rights is a complex, long, and expensive process. The financial and consulting support provided by the SME fund is an excellent opportunity to get rid of outdated myths and turn to the audit of one's intellectual property rights," says the Director of the Patent Office of Latvia - Agris Batalauskis.
We invite Latvian companies to be forward-thinking and take advantage of the opportunity to apply for funding from the SME support fund "Ideas powered for business" in 2023. The application for funding from the SME fund is available from January 23, 2023 and will continue until December 15 of the same year. Funds are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
SMEs have the opportunity to receive 90% co-financing for intellectual property pre-diagnostic service (IP Scan). This service provides the opportunity to conduct an intellectual property rights audit of one's company with the help of a professional patent lawyer and to develop an intellectual property strategy. Obtaining 90% financed reimbursement, the IP Scan service for a company in Latvia cost only about 70 euros.
75% co-financing is granted for trademark or design registration application fees and patent applications not only at the national level, but also at the EU level. This year's novelty is 50% co-financing for plant variety protection at the EU level.
Application to the fund: https://euipo.europa.eu/ohimportal/en/online-services/sme-fund
In addition, an online tool that helps to recognize the benefits of intellectual property: https://business.ideaspowered.eu/