Intellectual Property (IP) is defined by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) as “creations of the mind” and include but is not limited to inventions, designs, symbols and names used in commerce. These are protected by law through patents, copyright, and trademarks, and as a result, enable the creator to earn recognition or financial benefit from what they created.

But what are patents, copyright, and trademarks? 

The one that most people are aware of is copyright. This is the right that creators have over their literary or artistic creations. Such works range from books, artworks; such as paintings, sculptures and digital designs, to computer programming and advertisements.

As of 1978, copyright is automatic and as a result, no registration is required.

Patents give the exclusive right to an invention and as a result, gives the inventor the right to decide when, where and how this is used. In exchange for this the creator makes publicly available the technical information about the invention.

The ones that we are unknowingly very much aware of are Trademarks. These are signs that can distinguish the products or services offered by an organisation from those of another organisation.

Designs are, as the name implies, the aesthetic aspect of and item. These can consist of both three-dimensional designs and two-dimensional designs. To obtain the rights for a patent or trademark, one would need to register these either at the national, regional or international level through IP Offices.

The Scheme

The European Union Intellectual Property Office (‘EUIPO’), in collaboration with the national Intellectual Property Offices within the European Union has launched the Ideas Powered for Business SME Fund. This is a €20 million scheme designed to support European small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with gaining access to their intellectual property rights.

The fund covers 50% of the fees up to €1,500 in relation to applications for registering trademarks and designs either with the IP Office in Malta or the EUIPO. The level of protection you choose depends on your business strategy and your growth plans.

Application Windows are open for the below periods:

1st March 2021 till 31st March 2021
1st May 2021 till 31st May 2021
1st July 2021 till 31st July 2021
1st September 2021 till 30 September 2021


With the launch of this Fund, the EU aims to improve the protection of IP, increase the uptake of IP by SMEs, enable the sharing of IP, fight counterfeiting and improve enforcement of IP rights and also encourage a level playing field.

To learn more about the funding opportunities available for your business visit our Funding page or contact us on