eBay would like to share some new and important information to help European SMEs protect their EU trademarks and registered community design rights. The European Union Intellectual Property office (EUIPO) offers several advantages to EU SMEs who protect their intellectual property rights. In particular, 50% reimbursement on trade mark and design application costs throughout the EU, and free personalised advice on intellectual property matters.
What is the EUIPO and what is its mission?
The EUIPO is the European Union Intellectual Property Office responsible for managing the EU trade mark and the registered Community design. We also work with the intellectual property (IP) offices of the EU Member States and international partners to offer a similar registration experience for trade marks and designs across Europe and the world.
The EUIPO registers around 180 000 EU trade marks and over 100 000 designs annually, offering IP protection to companies and individuals in a market of more than 500 million consumers.
The importance of intellectual property
Intellectual property refers to creations of the mind – everything from works of art to inventions, computer programs to trade marks and other commercial signs. It plays a crucial role when a company decides to innovate or launch a product or service on the market.
IP allows owners to protect their innovation and creativity by excluding others from copying, performing, manufacturing or distributing their works without permission.
These are the most well-known IP rights.
- Trade marks protect the commercial identity of products and services. They have unlimited duration provided they are renewed every 10 years.
- Designs protect the appearance of products. Protection lasts up to a maximum of 25 years and must be renewed every 5 years.
- Patents protect technical inventions or procedures that are capable of industrial application. Protection lasts up to a maximum of 20 years, with no possibility of renewal.
- Copyrights protect the creativity of the human mind: books, paintings, software, etc. Protection is automatic (there is no need to register) and lasts for the author’s lifetime plus an additional 70 years after the author’s death.
The joint report “Intellectual property rights and firm performance in the European Union” by the EUIPO and the EPO has shown that SMEs who register their IP rights (trade marks, designs or patents) have 68% higher revenue per employee than those who don’t.
Positive effects of IP on your business
- Ownership of IP rights gives a commercial advantage to the owner, which prevents unauthorised exploitation by others.
- IP rights enable smaller businesses to compete with larger companies.
- Business partners and investors value companies with IP rights as a safer investment with lower risk.
- IP can be a source of direct income: IP owners can sell or license their IP rights.
Services directed at SMEs
See below some of the EUIPO’s most recent services launched in response to the COVID-19 crisis for EU small and medium-sized businesses, available via the Ideas Powered for business hub.
The Ideas Powered for business SME Fund is a grant scheme aimed at small businesses that wish to develop their IP strategies and protect their IP rights at national, regional or EU level. Each business can be reimbursed up to a maximum of €1,500.
Financial support for two services
IPR application fees
- 50% reimbursement of trade mark and design basic application fees at EU and national level can be offered to EU sellers on e-commerce marketplaces.
- 75% reimbursement of the cost of an IP scan (also known as an IP pre-diagnostic service). Professional intellectual property experts help businesses identify the value of their IP assets and provide recommendations.
Power your business with the SME Fund!
Free personalised consultations on intellectual property
Free personalised consultations that match SMEs with intellectual property experts who speak their language. These consultations aim to help businesses with their IP matters as well as improve their understanding of the value of IP.
Request a free personalised intellectual property consultation now.
EasyFiling is the new, easy-to-use, mobile-friendly application combining artificial intelligence and the latest technologies to simplify the application process for EU trade marks. Apply now for an EU trade mark using EasyFiling.