ACCA, Accountancy Europe and EUIPO partnered to launch free and certified intellectual property (IP) training programme

On 16 December 2021, Accountancy Europe, ACCA and the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) organised a 45 minutes introductory session on the EUIPO SME programme “Train the advisor pilot”, for SME accountants to help SMEs access their intellectual property rights.

event banner with ACCA, Accountancy Europe and EU Intellectual Property Office logos

SME accountants and SMPs can now express their interest and availability to participate in the pilot training to be organized this year in filling in this survey by 10 February.

The webinar, facilitated by Cecile Bonino-Liti, Head of EU Affairs at ACCA and Johan Barros from Accountancy Europe, gave an overview of EUIPO’s free pilot training programme, presented by EUIPO’s speaker Jose Ignacio Maldonado. It mainly covered the business potential of IP for SMEs; means of identifying whether IP registration makes sense for particular SMEs; ways of guiding SME clients through the IP registration process.


On this page, under Links & downloads, you can also find:

  • PowerPoint presentation from EUIPO
  • a short video presenting a case study of the implications of an SME not registering its IP

The programme, which provides a certificate upon completion, equips professional accountants – and in particular SMPs – to help their SME clients with intellectual property rights. See more details Support for small businesses

Cecile Bonino-Liti, ACCA stressed that Intellectual Property does represent an opportunity to diversify for SMPs. She said: "This training by EUIPO is a brilliant opportunity to start the journey of developing capacity in IP. Digitalisation is disrupting the nature of SMPs. Some can see it as a risk, while others will see this as an opportunity to offer a new level of value-added services, and also bring the level of engagement between SMPs and their clients to the next, more profound level."

"Learning about IP rights provides food for thought for diversifying service- offering and developing advisory on IP rights; as a complementary service, to start with, but that could potentially evolve into a stand alone service line. The push for diversification amongst SMPs is necessary for the long term sustainable business growth of the firms, and also the sector as a whole. But we also acknowledge that diversification is only possible when the practices have the capability- and the capacity- to invest in developing new businesses", she added.

"This is an additional example that SMPs can do more than traditional accountancy services, it is important to instill this idea with your SME clients. The development of this capacity can bring significant benefits to SMEs, who often see SMPs as growth enablers and trusted advisors for groups and portfolios of SMEs - as mentioned in our SMP growth series: Space to Grow , Scale up success and growing globally. The study released by the European Patent Office and the EUIPO shows that SMEs that have filed at least one IP right are 21% more likely to experience growth, and are 10% more likely to become an high growth firm than those without IP rights applications. SMEs that file for IP rights at European level have an even greater likelihood around 17%- of becoming high growth firms.", Cécile Bonino-Liti concluded.

SME accountants and SMPs can express their interest and availability to participate in the pilot training to be organized this year.

It will consist of a 45-minute introductory session, a 3,5 hour workshop and additional online support tools. In the course of this training, you will notably learn:

  • About the different types of IP protection available and how SMEs can access them
  • How to identify whether a SME could benefit from IP registration and if so, what type of IP would suit their needs
  • How to guide your SME clients through the IP registration process