Protecting your intellectual property (IP) is a key aspect of every deep tech development. Whether it's increasing your market value, strengthening your position in the market or facilitating the search for suitable investors, strong Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) are a must-have asset for every innovative startup.
However, the world of IPR can be a difficult one to navigate and companies early on in the development phase, often fail to devise a forward-looking IPR strategy.
The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) fills this gap by providing free and personalised IP support to SMEs. On top of EUIPO's free IP support, this year the European Commission and the European Innovation Council are launching three new initiatives, all designed to support startups and SMEs in identifying and implementing strong IPR strategies for their innovations:
- Intellectual property vouchers
- Horizon IP Scan
- EIC Community Training on Intellectual Property Rights
Intellectual Property Vouchers
As part of the European Commission’s IP Action Plan, the Intellectual Property Vouchers is a grant scheme launched by the European Commission and the EUIPO. With a budget of 20 million Euros, the scheme is open to all the SMEs in Europe and will run throughout 2021.
The scheme offers financial support in the form of reimbursements for trademark and design application and for IP pre-diagnostic services (IP Scan), up to a maximum amount of 1,500 Euros per business.
Eligibility requirements, timing and other information relevant to the scheme can be found on the EUIPO's Ideas Powered for Business hub.
Horizon IP Scan
The Horizon IP Scan is a free-of-charge IP support service specifically designed for SMEs involved in a new (about to start or recently started), collaborative, Horizon (2020/Europe) project.
The service provides beneficiaries with professional advice specifically on how to protect their IP in a project consortium, and support in developing a shared IP strategy with project partners.
More information on the service and the guide for applicants can be found on the IP Helpdesk's Horizon IP Scan page.
EIC Community Training on Intellectual Property Rights
The EIC Community Training on Intellectual Property Rights is a workshop on IP management-related topics specifically for startups at an early stage in their technology development. The online learning session will be held on Friday, 7 May 2021 by Silvia Dondi and Aleardo Furlani, IP and Technology Transfer experts from BUGNION S.p.A. and Innova.
The fully virtual event is open to all EIC beneficiaries. The 35 available slots will be allocated on a “first-come, first-served” basis.
More information and a link to the registration page can be found on the EIC community website.
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