07 Jan EUIPO has launched a funding program to support SMEs in trademark and design registration
As of January 11, 2021, Bulgarian business companies that comply with the definition of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and seek protection of their trademarks and industrial designs in Bulgaria, the European Union or in another EU Member State, have the great opportunity to gain a financial support through partial reimbursement of the application fees for trademarks and designs.
Financial support is granted in conjunction with the Ideas Powered for Business SME Fund program, funded by the European Commission and the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). The rationale of the program is to provide economic support to SMEs during the COVID-19 pandemic; raising the awareness of European SMEs about the benefits of industrial property rights; competitive advantage due to better management of intangible assets; promoting national and EU systems for the registration of industrial property objects, in particular trademarks and / or industrial designs.
The scheme for obtaining intellectual property vouchers for SMEs to partially reimburse the costs incurred in protecting their brands and designs is possible for one or / or both types of services:
➢ Service 1: Intellectual Property Pre-diagnostic or IP Scan Service – 75%
Financial support will be granted in the form of a refund of 75% of the value of a conducted preliminaryexamination of the needs for protection of intellectual property rights (Intellectual Property Pre-diagnostic or IP Scan). The service will be provided by the Patent Office of the Republic of Bulgaria upon submission of an application by the company and its subsequent approval by EUIPO.
The admissible maximum value of the service is BGN 977.91 or EUR 500, and 75% of this amount will be refunded. The term for conducting the preliminary examination (IP scan service) is a maximum of 4 months.
The preliminary examination aims to help SMEs determine which IP rights to apply for, how to create an IP portfolio in case they already have registered rights, and how to plan their future strategy in this area.
End-users can take advantage of the Preliminary diagnostic of the Needs for Protection of Intellectual Property service, for which purpose they must:
- Fill in and file an application form: https://euipo.europa.eu/cosme/en
- The application will be examined by EUIPO and, upon approval, the company will receive a notification from EUIPO and an attached Grant Decision.
- The company submits an application to the Patent Office of the Republic of Bulgaria (BPO) that it wishes to receive the Preliminary Diagnostic of the Needs for Protection of Intellectual Property service, and pays the prescribed fee;
- The Office shall designate an expert to provide the service. The term is 4 months.
- The company receives a report containing the study of the needs for protection of intellectual property, which includes
5.1. Defining the business model of the SME and the strategy of the company;
5.2. Identification and analysis of existing IP and IP-related intellectual property assets;
5.3. Recommendations on how to perform IP management, etc.
- The company should submit a request for a refund of the fee by filling in an online application as soon as the service (s) has / have been conducted and no later than 31.12.2021;
- The request shall be examined by EUIPO and, upon approval, 75% of the amount paid shall be transferred to the company’s account within 30 days.
➢ Service 2: Basic fees for applications for trademarks and designs – 50%
It should be highlighted that 50% of the basic application fees for trademarks and designs will be subject to refund according to the Tariff of Fees collected by the Patent Office of the Republic of Bulgaria (BPO), EUIPO or a national office of an EU Member State administering trademark and design registrations at national level. According to the current Tariff of Fees, relevant for Bulgarian SMEs, the basic application fees at national and European level are the following:
– European union trademark (basic fee EUR 850)
– Community design (so-called European design) (basic fee of EUR 350)
– National Bulgarian trademark (EUR 265.87)
– National Bulgarian Industrial Design (EUR 184.07)
Bulgarian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can benefit from financing in the amount of 50% of the above-mentioned basic fees for each IP object (trademark and / or industrial design), but up to a maximum of EUR 1,500. For this purpose, any SME wishing to benefit from EU financial assistance should proceed withthe following steps:
- Completion and submission of an application form: https://euipo.europa.eu/cosme/en
- The application will be examined by EUIPO and, upon approval, the company will receive a notification from EUIPO and an attached Grant Decision. However, in the event of a negative answer, it is permissible to re-apply within the possible time limits (see below).
- Submission of:
– application for registration of a European Union trademark
– application for registration of a European Union industrial design (Community design)
– application for registration of a Bulgarian trademark
– application for registration of a Bulgarian industrial design
- The company shall pay the prescribed fees in full
- The company should file a request for refund of the paid fees by filling in an online application as soon as the service has been conducted and not later than 31.12.2021.
- Upon approval by EUIPO, 50% of the basic fee (s) paid shall be reimbursed within 30 days.
Finally, SMEs shall take into account the fact that are certain prescribed limitations:
– The total amount that can be allocated to each individual SME is limited to EUR 1500, regardless of the type of action requested.
– An SME can apply for each service only once.
– The application and submission of the application in question is only possible within the designated time windows, which are 5 in number as follows:
|WINDOW 3||WINDOW 4||WINDOW 5
|Start of application period:||11.1.2021||01.03.2021
|Deadline for submission of applications:||31.1.2021||31.03.2021||31.05.2021||31.07.2021||30.9.2021|
|Indicative time limit for receipt of written notification of results and notification of grant decisions in case of award:||
April — May 2021
June — July 2021
August — September 2021
October — November 2021
Should you required additional information and assistance in applying for the SME financing program for the registration of trademarks and designs at Bulgarian or European Union level, please do not hesitate to contact patent and trademark bureau K TAHTADJIEV, and we will be more than glad to assist you in this respect.