Intellectual Property Cheques in Wallonia

In 2016 the Walloon Region is introducing a new service to enterprises in the form of Intellectual Property Cheques subsidised up to 75% to pay for services related to using patents as information sources performed by a provider such as Sirris.

Intellectual Property Cheques constitute a new system of aid, taking the form of grants that the Walloon Region offers to enterprises through the Agency for Enterprise and Innovation (AEI).

The beneficiary SMEs use them to pay for services related to patents as information sources performed by a provider such as Sirris, a PATLIB centre recognised by the European Patent Office.

Each Intellectual Property Cheque is worth 500 euros and is financed up to 75%. The total number of IP cheques that a company can benefit from is 40 per year (total €20,000). 

The providers whose services can be paid for using Intellectual Property Cheques are the Belgian Office for Intellectual Property (OPRI), the PATLIB centres and patent agents.

The services that can be paid for using Intellectual Property Cheques are those coming under one of the following categories:

    • Researching innovation for patent purposes: Carried out before filing a patent application, this helps determine whether the invention can be patented and if the invention has been disclosed before a critical date.This then consists in determining the state of the art.
    • Researching for freedom to use purposes: This research, as complete as possible, aims to check whether a product or process is free to use on the market. This should be done at the time when the technical nature of the product, process or composition is finalised, ideally just before putting on the market.
    • Researching for opposition: This is research that aims to identify any documents liable to precede an invention protected by issued patent. This then aims to invalidate any claims in relation to the state of the art.
    • State of the art : Complete research of all patents and documents of the literature (not patents). This does not focus on a single invention but gathers all the references that cover a given technical area.
    • Patent mapping: In depth analysis of patent and non-patent references aiming to support strategic decision making in business matters.
    • Setting up technology watch: This is the construction step for a technology watch including patents and tailored to the business of the requesting SME without ensuring the follow up (no repetition).


Click here for more information on Sirris’s intellectual property services.