Protecting your IP rights

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency RVO

You can register and protect your product or service with IP rights. This prevents other parties from copying your products and inventions.

What is Intellectual Property?

Intellectual Property or IP is the collective name for rights that protect the realisations of new ideas and creative concepts. For instance: 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 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, even in case of automatically awarded IP rights.

Rights you have to register

Rights you automatically have – but you may have to register to enforce them

  • Copyright: protects writings (for instance lyrics, books), photos, software, films, games and websites
  • Trade name right: protects your trade name
  • Database right: part of 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
  • A non-disclosure agreement (NDA, confidentiality statement): this you use 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 sourceExternal link certificates: for instance, mozzarella from Italy or feta from Greece

How do you protect your product, service or invention?

Do you want to find the best way to protect your product, service or invention? Use the ideeSCANExternal link (in Dutch) to see which rights you need to register, and what you need to take into account. Read the Checklist for protecting your product, service or invention.

Cost Calculator for the protection of Intellectual Property

Use the Cost Calculator for the protection of Intellectual PropertyExternal link to find out how much taking out a patent or registering a trademark or design will cost you in the Benelux, the EU or worldwide. The Cost Calculator is a joint initiative by the Netherlands Patent Office and the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property.

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency RVO