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By Biocat

The Spanish Patent and Trade Mark Office (SPTO) has opened a call for proposals through which it will award subsidies to defray the cost of applying for patents and utility models in Spain and abroad. This measure aims to increase the use of industrial property in companies, mainly SMEs, and to promote its use as a tool to access international markets. The resolution was published in the BOE on 3 April.

The subsidies available are:

  • Subsidies to extend a patent or utility-model application to national or regional patent offices in other countries, under the framework of national or regional patent or utility-model granting procedures, including application fees, search report, study or granting, maintenance fees and European patent validation.
  • Subsidies for activities carried out under the international PCT procedure, including application fees, international searches or preliminary studies. 
  • Subsidies for Spanish patent and utility-model applications, including application costs and/or search report.

Applications must be submitted through the SPTO virtual office by 4 May 2012.

The countries with the highest number of patent applications are the United States (31,908), Japan (20,657) and South Korea (5,607), according to the 2011 Biocat Report. In Europe, the number of applications submitted to the European Patent Office (EPO) increased an average of 2.7% per year between 2002 and 2007 and only 4.3% are from the biotechnology arena.

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