Main forms of intellectual property

A patent protects new and inventive products and methods.
As a rule a patent application should be filed before the invention is made public. A publication (in a magazine or brochure) or public application (use, sale, demonstration or such like) before the filing of the application, even by the inventor him- or herself, in general negates the possibility of obtaining a valid patent.

Company name
This is the name of your company. The right to protection of a company accrues from using the name in commerce (such as registration with the chamber of commerce, on the internet, in advertising, on the letterheading etc.).

A trademark is a sign (a word, logo, packaging) that a company can use with its products or services to distinguish these from those of other companies. The right to protection of a trademark is obtained after filing of an application and the registration of the trademark (Benelux trademark, Community trademark, International trademark).

This protects a range of things against copying, such as texts, drawings, works of art, photographs, manuals etc. Also the external appearance of a product (furniture, clothing) can be protected by copyright. Copyright protection is obtained automatically and offers worldwide protection. It may however be important to document your work, so that when necessary proof can be supplied of the entitlement to the copyright.

The external appearance of a product (shape or a pattern applied to the shape) can be protected as an unregistered or a registered design (Benelux design, Community design, International design.) To obtain a valid registered design an application should be filed within 12 months after the first publication.

Koomen & Brons octrooi- en merkenbureau
Kennemerstraatweg 35
1814 GB Alkmaar

T: 072 511 29 61
F: 072 512 89 24

Nederlandse Orde van Advocaten