Patent voucher popular among danish companies

Published 12-01-2024

166 Danish companies have applied for the Ministry of Industry, Business and Financial Affairs’ patent voucher scheme. One of the companies that has benefited from the patent voucher, is Aalborg based Cortex, which makes devices for skin analyses.

The voucher scheme which provides financial support for applying for a patent, was once again sold out in an instant. 166 small and medium-sized companies have thus used the Ministry of Industry, Business and Financial Affairs’ patent voucher scheme and applied for support to apply for a patent for their invention.

The patent voucher offers financial support of 75 percent of the costs for a patent application process. The amount can be up to DKK 75,000.  A broad majority in the Danish Parliament is behind the enactment of the patent voucher scheme, where three million Danish kroner have been allocated annually in the period 2021-2023.

The fact that the patent voucher scheme sold out instantly in 2023 points towards a great demand among smaller companies, and according to CEO of the Danish Patent and Trademark Office, Sune Stampe Sørensen, this is positive:

"At the Danish Patent and Trademark Office, we would like to help companies protect their ideas. And it pleases me to see that so many SMEs choose to protect their business with a patent. It shows that they see the value in patenting their inventions. A patent will typically increase their opportunities to attract investors, export and create growth. In the long run, it benefits us all as more jobs are generated," says Sune Stampe Sørensen.

Aalborg company protects everything that can be protected
The purpose of the patent voucher scheme is, for example, to make companies stand stronger against copycats when exporting. This has been important for Aalborg company Cortex, which makes devices for skin analyses and who exports 98 percent of the equipment produced.

"For us, it has been important to protect everything that can be protected," says Christian Buur, CEO of Cortex. In 2021, he obtained a patent for a special hygienic protective device made of plastic for equipment which comes into contact with the skin, such as measuring equipment.

"Our company is a classic Danish company. In Denmark, we are good at finding niches, for which there is great demand outside the country's borders. This makes patents important. Patents can also increase the company's value in a sale " says Christian Buur, whose company has 16 employees, but is on a growth journey with a turnover increase of 130 percent in one year.

It is Erhvervshus Nordjylland that administers the nationwide patent voucher scheme, and here, Director Lars Erik Jønsson notes that there has been great interest throughout the three years the patent voucher scheme has been running.

"With the patent voucher, more startups and small and medium-sized companies get the financial opportunity to apply for the patent that is so crucial for the individual company's competitiveness and growth opportunities," says Lars Erik Jønsson. 

Fact box:

The patent voucher is targeted small and medium-sized companies wanting financial support for their patent application process. The voucher is one of a total of 16 initiatives in the IP Action Plan, which the Ministry of Industry, Business and Financial Affairs launched in Autumn 2021.

The number of patents in Denmark is smaller than might be expected based on the composition of the industry, and while patent activity is high for large companies, SMEs lag behind. See figures 7, 8 and 9 in the IP Action Plan here: IP action plan 

Figures in the IP-action plan also show that the added value in entrepreneurial companies that have taken out a patent is significantly higher than in companies without patents.

In order to increase awareness of IP rights among companies, the Danish Patent and Trademark Office carries out information campaigns. In Autumn 2023, a campaign was carried out under the heading "It's a good idea to protect your good idea".