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Government support for entrepreneurs

Patents, semiconductor law and register of patent attorneys

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency

If you have invented something, you can apply to the Netherlands Patent Office (Octrooicentrum Nederland), a department of the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, for a patentExternal link. 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. All patent applications are publishedExternal link.

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 OfficeExternal link (EPO), the World Intellectual Property OrganisationExternal link (WIPO) or the individual national offices of the countries in which you want to apply for a patent. You can calculate how much a patent will cost in the Cost Calculator for Protection of Intellectual PropertyExternal link.

Dutch validation of a European patent

A European patent may be validated in the NetherlandsExternal link by fulfilling the set translation requirements, which are:

  • You must file a translation of the claims in Dutch with the Netherlands Patent Office within 3 months after the European patent is granted;
  • 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 semiconductorsExternal link (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 attorneyExternal link in the Netherlands, you have to register in the Register of Patent AttorneysExternal link (Octrooigemachtigdenregister, in Dutch). To register, 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 AttorneysExternal link (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 obliged to keep your knowledge up to date. Every year, you must 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 AttorneysExternal link (in Dutch). You can search by name or office of the patent agent, postcode, location or discipline.

Online registration procedure via Message Box

You can ask to be added to 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.

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency