Grant funding IP and patent costs

November 19, 2023

At Venturenomix our primary task is to secure our clients’ R&D grant funding.

We know a lot about grant funding, but we also know when to bring in one of our expert partners. In this series of six blogs, we’ve teamed up with IP Attorney Jason Teng at Potter Clarkson to take a look at some of the IP-specific challenges we often come across in our R&D funding applications.

Will R&D grants fund legal costs relating to IP advice and patent filings?

R&D grants will fund a wide range of costs, including staff wages, overheads, capital costs, equipment costs, subcontractors and travel.

Eligible costs must relate to research and development activities. This means technical/ scientific staff costs are eligible, while sales and marketing staff costs are not. But what about IP-related costs under R&D grants?

From a grant writer’s perspective

Alex says: “There is a specific £7,500 allocated to IP costs in most Innovate UK grants.

This is classified as “other costs” and can be used to engage an external IP advisory firm to support in identifying IP and preparing patent applications (not filing costs). It is also possible to include a partner in Innovate UK grants whose tasks solely relate to IP – if you work with an academic partner, they will receive 100% of their costs covered.

In EU grants, such as EIC Accelerator, the use of IP advisory firms as subcontractors is standard and you can allocate the appropriate costs – this is seen as part of exploitation.”

From a patent attorney’s perspective

Jason says: “Planning is important to maximise the IP cost allocation available from the grant.

An intelligent IP strategy should be built into the company’s business model from the outset, and an IP legal advisor can advise on what needs to be protected, what legal steps are to be taken, and provide IP cost projections.

That said, the IP budget should not be artificially limited if it turns out that your
innovation or technology requires IP protection costs beyond what is allocated from the grant.”

For more IP-led insights, check out our collaborative white paper.