Protecting your IP rights

Published by:
Netherlands Enterprise Agency RVO
Netherlands Enterprise Agency RVO
Benelux Office for Intellectual Property
Benelux Office for Intellectual Property
Checked 2 Apr 2024
2 min read
Nederlandse versie

You can register and protect your product, service or brand with intellectual property rights. This prevents other parties from copying your products, services or brand name. There are different IP rights, such as patent law and copyright law. See which protection best suits your invention.

What is intellectual property?

Intellectual property or IP is the collective name for rights that protect the realisations of ideas and concepts. You cannot protect an undeveloped idea. IP rights apply, for example, to new products, music, brand names, trade names, inventions, product designs, techniques, games, software, lyrics, and photographs.

Different types of IP rights

You can protect your product or service using different types of IP rights. Some rights you have to register or deposit. Some rights are awarded automatically. Bear in mind that, when it comes to claiming your IP rights, it is always best to have a written record that states you are the owner of the IP rights of a product or service. This is true even for automatically awarded IP rights.

Rights you have to register

Rights you automatically have but may have to register

Sometimes you do have to or can register for these rights to, for example, enforce your ownership of this IP.

  • Copyright protects writings (for instance lyrics, books), photos, software, films, games and websites.
  • Trade name right protects your trade name.
  • Database right falls under copyright law. It protects against the re-using of data in databases.
  • Semiconductor right protects semiconductors like chips and microprocessors. You need to apply for this right.

Other forms of protection

  • The i-DEPOT gives your idea or design a legal date stamp.
  • You can use a non-disclosure agreement (NDA, confidentiality statement) to lay down in writing the conditions under which information can be shared.
  • The Trade Secret Protection Act (Wet bescherming bedrijfsgeheimen, Wbb) protects your company secrets. For instance, a unique recipe.
  • To protect regional specialities, you can apply for three types of EC geographic indications of source certificates.

Read the Checklist for protecting your product, service or invention.

This webpage is part of an EU quality network

Questions relating to this article?

Please contact the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO