The European Commission and the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) are launching a new pilot project from the 11th of January 2021, which will provide financial support to small and medium-sized enterprises that want to protect their intellectual property. Lithuanian small and medium-sized enterprises, including start-ups wishing to protect their trademarks or designs by registering them at the national, regional, or EU level, may apply for a 50% trademark or design registration fee and a 75% intellectual property preliminary assessment (IP Scan) service (which is planned to be provided in Lithuania from March 2021) refund.
Support will come from a € 20 million grant fund presented by EUIPO at the end of last year. The Fund is intended for small and medium-sized enterprises in all EU Member States in 2021 and funding will be provided based on the first-come, first-served principle. This project will allow one company to receive the support of up to € 1500.
It will be possible to apply for compensation within 5 periods from which companies can choose the most suitable one: 1-31 of January 2021, 1-31 of March 2021, 1-31 of May 2021, 1-31 of July 2021, 1-31 of September 2021. A budget of EUR 4 million is foreseen for each of these periods.
The project is implemented in cooperation with EU national and regional intellectual property offices. In Lithuania, its implementation is coordinated by the State Patent Bureau.
As the project is implemented on a first-come, first-served basis, the State Patent Bureau recommends that compensation be filed as soon as possible for any of the following periods:
- Think in advance about which objects (trademarks or designs) you want to protect and what kind of protection is required (national or EU), as only one application for compensation can be made. The IP Scan service in Lithuania is scheduled to start in March this year, so you will be able to apply for a separate application, or 1 application for the costs of this service if you apply for both services in later stages from 1st of March 2021.
- Within 30 days of receipt of the approval of the future compensation from EUIPO, apply for registration of the trademark or design. Make sure that you are able to perform the necessary steps within the 30-day period set by the project, otherwise, the confirmation for compensation will no longer be available.
- Once you have applied for the registration of a trademark or design and paid all the fees, do not delay and submit an application to EUIPO for the refund of 50% of the fees paid.
A study of EUIPO has proved that 54% of small and medium-sized enterprises that register intellectual property say that registration has given a positive boost to the business by improving reputation, increased turnover, and access to new markets.
Detailed explanations can also be found on the Website of the State Patent Bureau.
Information from the State Patent Bureau of the Republic of Lithuania.
Prepared by legal assistant Nojus Antanas Bendoraitis