Intellectual property financing solutions

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Several aid and subsidy schemes are available to finance intellectual property in direct (subsidy or reimbursable advance) or indirect (tax schemes) forms. They aim to support the ability of French companies to create and innovate during the different phases of their project.
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Why seek to finance intellectual property (IP)? 

Intellectual property serves to protect creations. It rewards the efforts of innovators by giving them rights thanks to exclusive use for a determined period.
Having a portfolio of patents, trademarks, designs helps to enrich the intangible capital of your company. This can also constitute a source of tangible income (transfers of patents, operating licenses, etc.).

What are the intellectual property financing solutions?

Intellectual property procedures have a cost. A first instinct is to assess their needs by carrying out a Prediagnosis free from the INPI. To finance these actions, there are many innovation aids that depend on the nature of the company and its projects. Thus, direct aid for innovation in the form of subsidies or repayable advances, for example, or other indirect ones (tax measures) are made available to entrepreneurs.

What are the aids in the maturation phase?

Pass PI INPI: an intellectual property financing solution

The pass PI is financial support offered by the INPI to encourage start-ups and SMEs to undertake actions to protect their innovations and creations. It makes it possible to finance at a reduced cost a service carried out by an IP expert (Industrial property attorney, lawyer, etc.).

The following services have been designed to best meet your intellectual property needs:

Know your technological environment and protect your innovation :

  • Patent documentary monitoring
  • Patent literature search
  • Patentability / Freedom to operate
  • State of the art
  • French patent
  • Mapping of inventions

Protect yourself internationally:

  • export brand
  • export patent
  • Design export

Securing your relationships:

  • Contract for collaborative R&D and/or public-private technology transfer
  • IP contractual support

Valuing assets and controlling taxation:

  • Mastery of IP taxation
  • IP asset valuation

Act in the face of litigation risks:

  • Pre-litigation analysis (defense or attack strategy in terms of IP, unfair competition or parasitism)

Protect your digital creations and computer networks:

  • Digital protection
  • Cybersecurity

Companies benefit from rapid and operational support: 

  • their expense is 50% funded by the INPI
  • le cost of the service unit can reach 6 000 €Either up to €3 funding by the INPI

Young innovative company scheme (JEI)

Created in 2004 by the Ministry of Education and Research, the purpose of the Young Innovative Company status is to promote the creation of small and medium-sized companies carrying out research work. 

A young innovative company (JEI) can benefit from tax and social exemptions, provided that it meets the criteria of an SME of less than 250 people:

  • with a turnover of less than €50 million or an lower total balance à 43 million €. This aid can be combined with the CIR and the CII.
  • achieve R&D expenses representing at least 15% of expenses, with the exception of exchange losses and net charges on sales of marketable securities, tax deductible for the same financial year. have less than 11 years of existence at the time of the request.

In terms of intellectual property (IP), the research expenses retained by this statute concern:

  • the costs of obtaining and maintaining patents and plant variety certificates
  • the defense costs for patents and plant variety certificates as well as premiums and contributions for legal expenses insurance
  • the amortization of patents and plant variety certificates acquired with a view to carrying out research and experimental development operations

What are the aids in the commercial exploitation phase?

SME fund: intellectual property financing solution at European level

Since 2021, the SME Fund “Ideas Powered for Business” grant fund ”, implemented by the European Commission and the EUIPO, allows European SMEs to benefit from a partial reimbursement of the fees for filing intellectual property titles.

It is intended to promote intellectual property among European SMEs help financially to exercise their IP rights, in particular the filing of titles (trademarks, patents or designs & models) to protect their assets.

How to finance IP? 
By doing partially reimburse the filing fees paid for certain intellectual property titles (filings of patents, trademarks or designs). For the year 2022, the companies concerned can apply to benefit from this subsidy program until December 16.

Chèque Relance Export: assistance for companies abroad

Managed by Business France, the Relance Export check enables exporting companies to finance all or part of their export development in the face of increased foreign competition.

This device takes in charge :

  • 50%, within the limit of a ceiling, of eligible expenses (excluding taxes, with a minimum value of €500) an international support service, including digital, for French SMEs and ETIs. 
  • up to €2 for individual support service : export audit and diagnosis...
  • up to €1 for collective support service towards target markets

These checks will be usable on all collective operations of the France Export Program, as well as on individual services (preparation and/or prospecting) of Team France Export and approved private service providers in France and abroad until 31/12 /2022.

La mapping of inventions patented by the INPI, is eligible for the “Chèque Relance Export” giving access to a reimbursement of 50% of the amount of the service amounting to €3.
This tailor-made information service analyzes the global technological and competitive environment of your innovation covering 90 million patents.

What are the enhancement aids?

Research tax credit (CIR)

The research tax credit is a tax measure that aims to improve the innovation and competitiveness of companies by allowing them to incur research and development expenses and be partially reimbursed for these expenses.

Ce tax credit covers 30% of R&D expenses from up to 100 million euros and 5% above this amount. It is intended for all industrial, commercial and agricultural companies, regardless of their legal form and size, provided that they are taxed according to their actual regime (optional or automatically) and that they incur research and/or development expenses.

Eligible intellectual property expenses:

  • taking and maintaining patents
  • costs patent defense
  • allocations to amortization of patents and legal protection patent litigation

Collection tax credit

The Collection tax credit is a tax system integrated into the CIR dedicated to activities relating to textile, clothing and leather collections. 

30% of the amount of expenses dedicated to the creation of new collections can be reimbursed to them via this tax credit. This aid scheme is subject to compliance with the European regulation of "minimis" of a company at €200 over a period of three fiscal years.

It is aimed at companies carrying out an industrial activity in this sector, regardless of their sector or size. 

In terms of industrial property, the design filing costs and design defense costs are eligible up to a limit of €60 per year

Innovation Tax Credit (CII)

The Innovation Tax Credit is an extension of the research tax credit (CIR) to certain innovation expenses of SMEs (design of prototypes or pilot installations of new products).

The rate of innovation tax credit is 20% until 2023, and increased to 40% for innovation expenses incurred on farms located in the overseas departments. He is capped at €400 per year. It is aimed at all SMEs within the meaning of Community law.

Eligible intellectual property expenses are as follows: 
● the costs of obtaining and maintaining patents and plant variety certificates
● the costs of filing of designs 
● the costs of defense of patents, plant variety certificates, designs

Collaborative research tax credit (CICO)

The tax credit in favor of collaborative research was created by the 2022 Finance Law to encourage companies to undertake R&D work within the framework of research collaborations with research and knowledge dissemination organisations. 

This system has been in effect since January 1, 2022 and is aimed at all companies regardless of their form, as part of an effective collaboration with a research and knowledge dissemination body. 
The tax credit is equal to 50% of the eligible expenses retained for SMEs and 40% for ETIs and large companies, within the limit of €6 million of declared expenses. Expenses invoiced in 2022 may be declared in 2023.

The expenses incurred must relate to R&D work carried out by an ORDC (a research and knowledge dissemination organization within the meaning of European law) within the framework of an effective research collaboration.

Eligible expenses take into account the IP design fees.

IP BOX: the valuation of intellectual property assets

The 2019 finance bill has enabled the implementation of several measures aimed at promoting work and improving the attractiveness of companies. Formerly known as the “Patent Box”, the IP Box encourages the performance of R&D and the exploitation of patents in order to stimulate innovation.

The IP Box is intended for any company subject to corporation tax (IS) or income tax (IR) which incurs research expenses on French territory.
The IP BOX regime is a device consisting of a reduced corporate tax rate from 31% to 10% son income derived from the sale and concession ofintellectual property assets

This tax benefit concerns the following assets:
• The invention patents and patentable inventions (transfer or grant of rights/licenses)
• The utility certificates
• The plant variety certificates
• Industrial manufacturing processes

Financial aid at all stages of innovation 

BPIFrance supports entrepreneurs in their innovation projects, during all phases, from maturation to feasibility.

Among its offers dedicated to innovation, the Diagnosis Axes of Innovation provides financial assistance to project leaders, SMEs and ETIs who wish to identify potential areas of innovation or carry out a feasibility phase for a specific project by calling on a service provider. 

50% of the amount of the service of an expert/consultant or technical to up to a maximum of €16 is supported.
Fullerenes expenses related to the filing of a first patent are eligible.