Protecting your idea in an i-DEPOT

Published by:
Benelux Office for Intellectual Property
Benelux Office for Intellectual Property
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

Do you have an original idea? You can deposit it in an i-DEPOT, and have legal proof that you were the first to think of it. Read how it works.

What is an i-DEPOT for?

You have an idea for an invention, a prototype, or a design, and you want to register it. But you cannot take out a patent for just an idea. And in some cases, you don’t have to register your right: it is automatically acknowledged once you publish your work. Copyright is one example. Still, in some situations, it can be helpful to be able to prove that you were the first to come up with an idea. For instance, in a legal dispute. You can do that if you register your idea in an i-DEPOT, which is managed by the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property.

How do I register my idea in i-DEPOT online?

If you create a MyBOIP account, you can register your production idea in an i-DEPOT. Upload a description and, if applicable, a drawing or design to clarify your idea. You can register your idea for 5 or 10 years. The fees involved can be found on the BOIP website.

You can also deposit a product or service for which you have not yet registered your IP right, for instance by applying for a patent. This may be useful if you want to show your product or service to potential investors or pre-launch it at a trade show.

Is the i-DEPOT valid everywhere?

Once you have registered your idea in i-DEPOT, you can use it as evidence in case of a legal dispute. In Europe, the courts will always admit an i-DEPOT as evidence. In other countries, the judges decide whether they will admit the evidence or not.

Storage period and costs i-DEPOT

You can submit your idea digitally or on paper. You can always extend the storage period by 5 years. The costs are:

  • € 37 for a digital i-DEPOT for 5 years and € 53 for 10 years.
  • €47 for a paper i-DEPOT for 5 years and €68 for 10 years.
  • Extending storage period costs €26 online and €47 on paper.

Do you intent to submit i-DEPOTS regularly? Then opening a credit account can be useful. View all fees here or submit your i-DEPOT directly.

Intellectual property

Once you develop your idea into a service or product, you need to find out if you have to take out a patent or other form of intellectual property protection. Being able to prove that you stored the idea in an i-DEPOT does not protect your product or service. See the content about patents and intellectual property, or contact the BOIP or Netherlands Patent Office (RVO).

Questions relating to this article?

Please contact the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO