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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 trademark with the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property (BOIP). This offers you protection in the Benelux (Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg). If you are also active outside the Benelux, you can expand your protection. If you want to know whether your trademark has already been registered, you can consult a trademark database. You can calculate how much it costs to register a trademark, design or idea in the Cost Calculator for Protection of Intellectual Property.
Drawing or design
If you have come up with a new design or new drawing, you can have it registered with the BOIP at a charge. If you also want to sell outside the Benelux, you can expand your protection. In order to find out if your design or drawing is new, you can consult a designs registry.
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 line to the BOIP. This could be a first step to a trademark, design or patent application.
Trade secrecy legislation
The illegal gaining, use and publication of non-disclosed know-how and trade intelligence is protected. The Trade Secrets Protection Act (Wet bescherming bedrijfsgeheimen, Wbb) considers company intelligence to be a trade secret when it has marketable value ‘because it is secret’ and the owner of this information ‘has taken reasonable measures to keep it secret’.