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Intellectual Property Law in Netherlands

Intellectual Property Law in Netherlands

Usually the intellectual property in Netherlands is referring to specific rights to use non-material things and have certain gains from this using. The owners of these non-material things have exclusivity on those and can manufacture or use it mostly in any way.

Types of Dutch Intellectual property rights.

The main intellectual property rights in Netherlands are copyright, patent rights, property rights, trademarks, designs and trade names.

If an author has created a certain work of art and wants to protect it, it can use the copyrights which means that once registered his/her rights on a piece of art nobody can duplicate it in full or partially without his/her approval. If that work is original, the copyright is established automatically in Netherlands.

“Octrooi”(patent in Dutch) is used by inventors in order to protect their creation from duplicate or commercial use without his/her consent.

In order to differentiate between the products, investors can opt to trademark their products. This trademark is constituted by a symbol (the name of the subject of trademark or a logo or shape of it).

An individual and new character can register a design and which will be used only by the products claiming the registration for it.

The first individual or corporate body willing to use specific names in the market place can register it as trade names. The registration is made at the Dutch Chamber of Commerce in Netherlands. The right to a trade name is restricted to the territory in which it is known.

Other intellectual rights which can be registered are the plant breeders’ rights (exclusive rights obtained after registration at the Board for Plant Varieties to cultivate and use new and protected plants) or even ideas (more rarely met as it is difficult to register such non-material items, but in case it is successful it can be made through Benelux Office for Intellectual Property, using the i-DEPOT application).

Registration procedures

The main body for registering trademarks, ideas or designs in Netherlands is the Benelux Office of Intellectual Property while the trade names are registered at the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce.

Registration of Trademarks can be made online or in paper. The online registration is made after a fee of 240 EUR is delivered to BOIP (Benelux Office of Intellectual Property) and cannot guarantee the success of the operation. In case the registration is not successful, the amount is not refundable this is why it’s important to be sure that that name can be registered. The process of registration can take up to 4 month but can be speed up if a certain fee is paid and the trade mark is granted for 10 years(after this period, the applicant can ask for a renewal).

The registration for design can be perform after filling specific forms available on BOIP site and deliver it in person or by post or fax. There is also a registration fee(in 2013 is 108 EUR+10 EUR per representation) which is not guaranteeing the success of the operation. It is advisable that the application must be followed by a clear representation which is not letting any room for interpretation.

Using the tool i-Depot on BOIP, the individuals can register an idea, an agreement or a document, a format, a concept, a prototype, an invention, a process, a melody, a slogan, a melody etc. the application for registration is made online and cannot exceed 100 MB. After paying the specific fees, the applicant is receiving the i-Depot certificate which can be used as evidence that that concept was owned by him/her.

The trade names are usually registered in the Companies Register hosted by the Dutch Chamber of Commerce along with other significant information such as the business activity performed by the entity, address, members and any other relevant information.

A separate division of our team specializing in tax matters can assist business owners with Netherlands VAT registration. This is a mandatory step as there is no minimum registration threshold (all VAT payers need to register for VAT purposes when they engage in activities that are subject to this tax). Our team can provide more information about registration, as well as filing and payment.