Attractive funding programmes for SMEs

grüner Baum mit bunten Produkten als Blätter - daneben Text: Innovate for a green future

Small and medium-sized enterprises in the centre of attention on World Intellectual Property Day – DPMA President: Make use of the grant schemes, seek advice! – Information events in several cities

Press release of 22 April 2021

Munich. The President of the German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA), Cornelia Rudloff-Schäffer, has encouraged small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to make use of grant schemes for the protection of intellectual property. "Intellectual property does not only represent innovative power, but it is also an asset small and medium-sized enterprises can benefit from strategically," said the DPMA President on the occasion of World Intellectual Property Day on April 26th. She added: "Grant schemes are available. Make use of them, seek advice and apply for patents, utility models, trade marks and designs!"

Attractive grant schemes for intellectual property – most of which are specifically aimed at SMEs – are provided by the German Länder, the federal government and at the European level. In a first step, many schemes support businesses in evaluating their specific IP situation. Accordingly, these subsidised IP scan services are suitable primarily for businesses that are just starting to deal with IP rights. Furthermore, grants for patent, utility model, trade mark and design applications and, in some cases, even for legal advice are available to SMEs that have experience of dealing with IP. Depending on the scheme, each business can receive funding of up to 17,000 euros. An overview of the schemes and additional useful information for SMEs are available on the web pages of the DPMA.

The DPMA supports, among other schemes, the SME Fund, a scheme recently launched by the European Commission and the European Union Intellectual Property Office due to the current COVID-19 crisis: SMEs economically affected by the coronavirus pandemic receive financial aid and vouchers to identify and file their intellectual property rights. The 20 million euro scheme, available until the end of 2021, awards grants for IP scan services as well as national and European trade mark and design applications. SMEs can apply on the externer Link web pages of EUIPO.

In a first tranche, applications for grants amounting to 700,000 euros were filed in this scheme from 11 to 31 January 2021 alone. Germany took third place among the top applicant countries. In Germany, most applications came from Bavaria (18%), North Rhine-Westphalia (13%) and Berlin (11%).

This year’s World Intellectual Property Day highlights SMEs. The theme set by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is "IP & SMEs: Taking your ideas to market". The DPMA’s Information and Service Centre Berlin and the patent information centres offer virtual events in several German cities.

The German Patent and Trade Mark Office

Inventiveness and creativity need effective protection. The DPMA is the German centre of expertise for all intellectual property rights – patents, utility models, trade marks and designs. As the largest national patent office in Europe and the fifth largest national patent office in the world, our office stands for the future of Germany as a country of inventors in a globalised economy. Its staff of just under 2,800 at three locations – Munich, Jena and Berlin – provide services to inventors and companies. They implement federal innovation strategies and develop the national, European and international IP systems further.

Bild: WIPO

Last updated: 22 April 2021