Types of protection

Patent: To qualify for patent protection in the Netherlands, an invention must have a technical invention, novelty, inventiveness and industrial applicability. A patent is valid for a maximum of 20 years from the date of filing.1

Design: The designs and models law protects the appearance of a product. Features include color, shape, or materials used. The model must also be new and unique. Registering the model allows action to be taken against third parties that infringe on the model. There are three types of models to choose from as described below:2

Benelux Design: This type of drawing or model protects the appearance of a utensil, for instance, a vase, chair, car or a pattern of substance. The term of protection is 5 years. The term can be extended up to four times for a period of five years, with a maximum of 25 years from the filing date.3

Community Design: This type of model is a uniform European legislation application that offers protection excluslively in the European Union. A model can be protected if it is new and has individual character for up to 25 years from the filing date.4

International Design: This kind of model offers protection in countries that are part of the Hague Agreement. An international model does not require a Benelux registration. It is actually a bundle of national designs and therefore falls under the national law of the designated countries. An international model is filed through the World Intellectual Property Organization.5

Provisional Patent Application: Provisional patent applications are not available in the Netherlands.

Convention and treaty membership

Netherlands became a member of the Patent Cooperation Treaty in January 1979 and is also a signatory of numerous treaties and conventions including, but not limited to the following:

  • Paris Convention
  • Budapest Treaty
  • World Intellectual Property Organization
  • International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants6