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When you have made an invention, you can apply to the Netherlands Patent Office (Octrooicentrum Nederland), a department of the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, for a patent. Your invention will then be protected by patent law, usually for a maximum period of 20 years. This means that no one else may adopt or apply your idea or design without your permission. Every patent application is published.
Applying for a patent abroad
An invention will only be patent protected in those countries in which a patent has been applied for and granted. International patent applications can be submitted to the European Patent Office (EPO), the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) or the individual national offices of the countries in which you want to apply for a patent.
Dutch validation of a European patent
A European patent may be validated in the Netherlands by fulfilling the set translation requirements, which are:
- You must file a translation of the claims into Dutch with the Netherlands Patent Office office within 3 months after the granting of the European patent
- If you filed the patent with the European Patent Office in a language other than English, you must file a translation of the description in English or in Dutch
- Filing the translation costs you €25, which must be paid within 3 months.
Protection of topographies of semiconductor products
You can apply to the Netherlands Patent Office for the protection of semiconductors (chips and microprocessors). You must submit an application within two years of first operating your semiconductor product. The submission of the application is stated in the Hoofdblad publication of NL Patent Office.
Registration and consultation Register of Patent Attorneys
If you intend to work as a patent attorney in the Netherlands, you are required to be registered in the Register of Patent Attorneys (Octrooigemachtigdenregister) (Dutch). To be registered, you can apply to the managing director of the Netherlands Patent Office. In some cases, you can apply for an exemption from the Supervisory Board (Raad van Toezicht) of the Netherlands Institute of Patent Attorneys (Orde van Octrooigemachtigden).
As a patent attorney, you must observe a number of rules of conduct, which have been laid down by the Netherlands Institute of Patent Attorneys. As a member of the Institute, you are furthermore obliged to keep your knowledge up to date through lifelong learning. You must annually provide the Supervisory Board of the Institute of Patent Attorneys with an overview of the training you received. You can check whether someone is a patent attorney by consulting the Register of Patent Attorneys (Dutch). You can search by name or office of the patent agent, postcode, location or discipline.
Online registration procedure via Message Box
You can request the Netherlands Patent Office to be listed in the Register of Patent Attorneys digitally via Message Box. Message Box is a secure email system that enables you as an entrepreneur to exchange digital messages with Dutch government agencies.