Board for Plant Varieties

The Board for Plant Varieties implements the ‘Dutch Seeds and Planting Materials Act 2005’, which regulates Plant variety right.


The Benelux Office for Intellectual Property (BOIP) is the official body for the registration of trademarks, designs and drawings in the Benelux. In addition, BOIP offers the possibility of recording the existence of ideas, concepts, designs, prototypes, etc. in the i-DEPOT.


Information that is valuable or even crucial for your business operations but that you cannot (yet) protect through intellectual property rights or for which the benefits of IP protection do not outweigh the costs, can best be protected by keeping it as secret as possible.


Copyright protects “works of literature and art”. This not only concerns artistic works such as literature, film, music or visual arts. More common things such as texts and photos on a website or the design of objects, but also software and databases, can be protected through copyright.


Coorperative patent Classification. The CPC is the result of a partnership between the EPO and the USPTO in their joint effort to develop a common, internationally compatible classification system for technical documents, in particular patent publications, which will be used by both offices in the patent granting process.


A database is a systematically or methodically ordered collection of data in which the components form independent elements and can be consulted independently of each other.

Domain name

A domain name is the unique designation of a website. A domain name is not an IP right in itself, but it is connected with it because you can infringe IP rights of others, such as brands or trade names, by registering a domain name.


A design is the three-dimensional appearance of a product. This appearance can be determined by different characteristics, such as the outline, the lines, the texture, the colours, etc.


A drawing is the two-dimensional appearance of a product. In the e-learning module, the word “design” is used for convenience, referring not only to the designs (3D) but also to the drawings (2D).


The European Patent Office (EPO) is part of the European Patent Organisation which was established in 1977 as an intergovernmental European organisation. The EPO’s main activity is granting European patents, after having thoroughly examined them. The EPO is also responsible for examining oppositions filed against granted European patents.


The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) is the European Union agency responsible for registering EU trademarks and Community designs.

Fixed date

A fixed date may serve as evidence for (1) confidential information for which you do not have IP protection, (2) non-registered IP rights such as copyright and unregistered designs and (3) previous use of technical information.


The i-DEPOT serves as legal proof that will help you to demonstrate that an idea already existed at a given point in time. The i-DEPOT is a product of the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property.


Possibility to draw up a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) with your i-DEPOT.

i-D Space

You can make an i-DEPOT public on i-D Space. There are several reasons for doing this. For example, to find partners for the development or marketing of your concept, format, software or innovative product or to let the outside world know that you are the originator of a creation. You can also use a disclosure on i-D Space to prevent someone else from applying for a patent or design right.


IP is the abbreviation of intellectual property and includes all “intellectual creations” made by people. It has to be something that someone has thought about, something for which an intellectual performance was necessary.


The International Patent Classification provides for a hierarchical system of language independent symbols for the classification of patents and utility models according to the different areas of technology to which they pertain.


IPR stands for IP rights, or intellectual property rights. These are the rights you can acquire on intellectual property, whether or not by means of a registration. This concerns copyright, trade name right, trademark right, design right, patent right, database right, plant variety right and semiconductor topography right.

Netherlands Patent Office (OCNL)

The Netherlands Patent Office is part of the Netherlands Enterprise Agency ( and belongs to the Ministry of Economic Affairs. The Netherlands Patent Office (OCNL):

  • grants patents for the Netherlands;
  • provides information about applying for and maintaining patents, and the use of information from patents;
  • maintains the Dutch Patent Register that contains Dutch patents and patent applications and patents granted by the European Patent Office and which are valid for the Netherlands.


Organisation Mondiale de la Propriété Intellectuelle (OMPI) is the French name for the World Intellectual Property Organisation (see: WIPO).


A patent is an exclusive right to an invention which allows you to prohibit someone else from using your invention for commercial purposes in a particular jurisdiction and for a limited period of time. An invention is a technical solution for a technical problem. This can be a product, a process (method), an application or a combination of these.


PCT is the abbreviation for Patent Cooperation Treaty. This is an international patent application procedure at WIPO (see: WIPO) that makes it possible to apply for patent protection in more than 140 countries worldwide with a single filing.

Plant variety right

Plant variety right protects new plant varieties. It is important that the right is granted for a particular plant variety and not for a species.

Semiconductor topography right

A semiconductor topography right protects the design of a computer chip. This is determined by the three-dimensional pattern that is obtained by the interconnection of different layers that are stacked on top of each other.


Supplementary Protection Certificate. The duration of patent protection relating to medicinal products or plant protection products may be temporarily extended to compensate for the often long authorization procedure.

Trade name

The trade name is the name with which a company trades and is known by. A company may have multiple trade names. Trade names are registered in the Commercial Register of the Chamber of Commerce. Protection arises at the time the trade name is used commercially.


A trademark is a sign that a company uses to differentiate its products or services from those of its competitors. This can be a word mark (consisting of numbers and/or letters), a figurative mark (logo) or a combination. Sounds, colours or the shape of a product or its packaging can also be trademarks.

Unitary patent

The unitary patent, or the European patent with unitary effect, will provide uniform protection on the territory of the participating EU member states. When the unitary patent comes into force, it will be possible to apply for it at the EPO (see: EPO).


The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is an agency of the United Nations and is dedicated to the protection of intellectual property. WIPO has 187 member states and manages 23 international treaties in areas such as patents, trademark and design protection. The headquarters is located in Geneva, Switzerland.