IP Scan

April 13, 2023


The services provided through IP Scan aim to advise small or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) on the potential of their intellectual property and how it could enhance the growth of their business. Consultations are carried out by an IP expert appointed by the national patent office who will work with SMEs to review their products/services and identify any opportunities to harness their creativity and innovation.

Through IP Scan, SMEs will be able to identify all intangible assets that can be protected to generate more revenue. This includes maintaining the confidentiality of trade secrets, protecting patents, promoting and protecting trademarks and designs in the course of trade, and licensing and franchising processes. IP Scan also helps businesses become aware of risks both outside and inside the company and understand how to address them (e.g. through employee contracts, manufacturing agreements, distribution, and licensing).

The main benefits that SMEs will be able to derive from IP Scan are:

  • The opportunity to thoroughly review the business model with an experienced IP expert.
  • Gaining a clear understanding of what the intangible assets in the business are and how they could be managed.
  • Identification of how to protect the intellectual property objects and what actions must be taken in case third parties infringe the rights of the business.
  • Identification of ways to prevent conflicts over intellectual property with competitors or potential partners.
  • The opportunity to develop a clear strategy concerning the intellectual property of the business – exactly which intellectual property objects can be registered, where can they be registered and how can they be used through licensing, franchising, entering into various partnerships, internationalization, etc.

    The IP scanning process is divided into three stages:
  • Preparatory Phase – the company must complete a short self-assessment questionnaire that will be reviewed by the IP expert.
  • Analytical phase – the IP expert conducts interviews with the company to examine the business model, identify intangible assets and determine the most appropriate IP strategy for the company.
  • Reporting Phase – The intellectual property expert presents the findings of the analysis in a report that covers five main topics – 1) the company’s business model and strategy; 2) the identification and analysis of existing intellectual property objects and potential intangible assets; 3) the use of IP searches; 4) IP management and strategy; 5) summary and strategic recommendations.

IP scan is funded by The SME Fund, a fund designed to help SMEs in the European Union to cover the costs of registering an intellectual property object. Thus, all eligible SMEs (enterprises with less than 250 employees and an annual turnover of less than or equal to €50 million, established in the EU) wishing to make use of IP Scan’s services can be reimbursed 90% of the cost of the service.

The application process for IP Scan reimbursement is not burdensome – the SME is required to present the following documents: the company’s bank details, a bank statement containing the bank name and logo to identify the source of the document, the company’s name as the account holder, a full IBAN number with country code and BIC/SWIFT code, and a VAT identification number.

The Fund is open from 23 January 2023 until 8 December 2023, but it is possible that the disbursement may end before that date in case the funds are exhausted.

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