What’s new with the current WIPANO funding?

After the former WIPANO funding had expired at the end of 2023, the Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection (BMWK) launched a new funding guideline on 1 January 2024, which is significantly leaner and simpler – at least for patent or utility model applications.

The new guideline also offers small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) support in patenting and exploiting their innovative ideas by reimbursing the costs of patent consulting and application as part of a subsequent funding of 50% of the costs incurred.

Only SMEs whose last patent or utility model application was filed at least three years ago (or who have never applied for a patent or utility model) and who have not received any funding under this directive in the last three years are eligible to apply.

In addition, applicants must have a (production) site in Germany and run the company as their main occupation.

According to the new guideline, funding can be applied for in two modules: In so-called Module 1, costs associated with professional advice, a novelty search and a patent or utility model application are refunded. In Module 2, costs incurred in connection with the commercialisation of the invention are funded. The funding period runs for a maximum of 24 months. Applications for funding can currently be submitted until the end of October 2027.

The details of the fundable services in the two modules are shown below.

Module 1: Patent or utility model application

This module includes advice on an IP application and, if applicable, advice on an international application strategy, the novelty search with regard to the already known state of the art, the drafting of a patent or utility model application and, if applicable, the drafting of subsequent applications by a patent attorney as well as the official fees for the corresponding applications.

Grant: 50% of the costs, max. €10,000

A prior art search and a patent or utility model application must be carried out in order for the expenses of Module 1 to be eligible for funding.

Module 2: Economic utilisation

Here, the preparation of a cost-benefit analysis, accompanying trademark and design applications, the development of a marketing concept as well as trade fair participation, the (external) prototype construction and further research and legal advice, e.g. on confidentiality and licence agreements, freedom-to-operate, collision research, market research are funded.

Module 2 is optional and can only be invoiced once Module 1 has been completed.

Grant: 50% of the costs, max. €6,000

Compared to the former funding guidelines, the cost-benefit analysis is no longer a prerequisite for claiming Module 1 – it only has to be carried out if Module 2 is claimed.

Further information can be found at: https://www.foerderinfo.bund.de/foerderinfo/de/foerderung/bund/technologie-vernetzung-transfer/schutzrechte-und-normen/schutzrechte-und-normen.html.  (Attention!! Information on the former WIPANO funding programme is currently still displayed on the website. Flyers or further information material on the new programme are not yet available. Only the guidelines themselves are currently available).

Our law firm has extensive expertise in application and funding procedures and is happy to provide you with support and advice.

We would be happy to take over the services of the individual modules for you. Please contact us!


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