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Government information for entrepreneurs

Registering a trademark, design or idea

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO)

If you want to set yourself apart from your competitors, you can have your own trademark registered at a charge. After registration, other parties are not allowed to use your trademark. There are different types of trademarks, such as word marks, pictorial marks, shape marks, colour marks and sound marks.

You can register your trademarkExternal link with the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property (BOIP). This offers you protection in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. If you are also active outside the Benelux, you can expand your protectionExternal link. If you want to know whether your trademark has already been registered, you can consult a trademark databaseExternal link. You can calculate how much it costs to register a trademark, design or idea in the Cost Calculator for Protection of Intellectual PropertyExternal link.

Drawing or design

If you have come up with a new design or new drawing, you can have it registered with the BOIPExternal link at a charge. If you also want to bring your products into the market outside the Benelux, you can expand your protectionExternal link. In order to find out if your design or drawing is new, you can consult a designs registryExternal link.

Idea, concept or prototype

An idea alone is not intellectual property, therefore protecting it is not possible. It is, however, possible to protect the implementation of the idea. The i-DEPOT allows you to prove that your idea already existed on a given day. You can submit the i-DEPOT on-lineExternal link to the BOIP. This could be a first step in the lead-up to a trademark, design or patent application.

Changes in trade secrecy legislation

The illegal gaining, use and publication of non-disclosed know-how and trade intelligence is protected. The new trade secrecy act considers company intelligence to be a trade secret when is has marketable value ‘because it is secret’ and the owner of this information ‘has taken reasonable measures to keep it secret’.

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO)