EUIPO and EBAN sign an agreement to empower SMEs


The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and EBAN, Europe’s leading early-stage investors network, have signed a collaboration agreement to promote and encourage activities and services that support small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Both organisations play an essential and complementary role in their shared vision to empower EU SMEs within the EU and beyond. Business angels are a significant driver of the innovation process in the EU start-up ecosystem and IP rights have long been recognised in the success of start-ups and innovative SMEs, giving its holder a competitive advantage in a global market.

EBAN, with over 150-member organisations in more than 50 countries today, represents a sector estimated to invest 11.4 billion Euro a year, comprising 260.000 angel investors, and playing a vital role in Europe’s future, notably in the funding of SMEs. The EUIPO is the European agency responsible for managing registrations of the EU trade mark and the registered Community design valid in all EU member states. The EUIPO has recently launched its ‘Ideas Powered for business’ hub with made to measure information for SMEs as well as the possibility to sign up for free personalised legal advice on their intellectual property questions.

This collaboration allows the EUIPO, in line with its SME Programme and Strategic plan 2025, to reach out to SMEs in particular start-ups and entrepreneurs, with the help of EBAN who are in an ideal position to promote the importance of protecting innovation via Intellectual Property rights (trade marks, patents, designs, etc.) at the right moment in the SME business lifecycle. Furthermore, business angels and start-ups will benefit from the knowledge, tools and resources on IP for supporting sound decision making. This agreement covers activities such as promoting the protection of innovation and creativity among SMEs and start-ups, training on Intellectual Property, participation in events, as well as sharing content on IP and the business angel financial sector on the respective websites.