The beginning of July saw a landmark agreement between the EU and Ukraine. An annex to the previously concluded agreement was signed, allowing Ukraine to participate in EU-funded activities under the Single Market Programme (SMP), which will allow SMEs to benefit from a grant scheme in the field of intellectual property protection.
Businesses need to protect their intangible assets
Nobody needs to be convinced that protecting intellectual property and trademarks is an absolute necessity today. We ourselves have written about this many times, both in the context of implementing innovations of all kinds and in more traditional industries or sectors.
Ukrainian SMEs wishing to promote and offer their goods or services in the EU do not always have the available resources to spend on trademarks, for example. This is especially true in today’s war-torn reality.
This is where the EU institutions come to the rescue, including via the SME Fund grant scheme which enables SMEs to address the issue of intellectual property protection.
The SME Fund, a joint project of the European Commission and the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), is open for applications for targeted funding until 8 December 2023. Successful participants will receive vouchers to cover part of the costs of the selected activities. However, funds are limited and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. It is therefore worth applying as soon as possible, whilst funds are still available.
Up to EUR 1,500 for SMEs
Any SME operating in Ukraine and wishing to file a trademark, design, invention or plant variety application can be reimbursed for the following costs:
- Trademark and design protection in the EU (national, regional, EU level): 75% of the costs up to a maximum of EUR 1,000
- Patent protection in the EU (national and European patents): 75% of the costs up to a maximum of EUR 1500
- Plant variety protection at European level: 50% of the costs up to a maximum of EUR 225
Who is the SME FUND for?
The SME FUND is aimed at Ukraine-based SMEs with a tax identification number (TIN).
These businesses must meet the SME definition, i.e. they must have fewer than 250 employees and an annual turnover of up to EUR 50 million or an annual balance sheet total of up to EUR 43 million.
The procedure for obtaining and implementing the grant is transparent and the application itself must be accompanied by:
- Company bank account statement
- TIN certificate
SME FUND for Ukrainian businesses: summary
When should applications be submitted?
Applications will be accepted until 8 December 2023. Grants are available throughout the year and will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis until funds are exhausted.
Any questions? Contact the author