Photo background wit text: we celebrate 50 years of BOIP

Proud heritage, bright future

BOIP is 50! We are using this anniversary as an opportunity to pause and look back over our rich past. And to show that we are looking forward to the future. Under the motto ‘Proud heritage, bright future’, we take you back over 50 years of intellectual property (IP).

On this page you will find interesting facts about 50 years of trademarks and designs. IP professionals and entrepreneurs also tell us how they look back in the past or how they see the future.

Moving picture on 50th anniversary of BOIP

Trademark and design facts

Over the past 50 years, BOIP has registered many trademarks and designs. Did you know that we currently have more than half a million brands in the BOIP Trademarks Register?

  • Woman eats burger with text 'the power of a strong brand'BOIP is 50 years old, but there are many trademarks that already existed before 1971. We have compiled a list of the oldest trademarks. Brand names and companies have changed over time, but we can trace the origins of all the trademarks below back to the Benelux. More about the 5 oldest trademarks in the Benelux

  • We have registered many good trademarks. We have had a dive into our archives and selected ten trademarks that have been in existence now for 50 years or more.    More about the power of a strong trademark

  • Did you know that to register a design it has to be new? This is one of the most important requirements for protecting a design. It means it cannot already exist or have been made public. Even if you make your design public yourself, it is no longer new. There is a grace period in that case though. If, within 12 months of making your design public, you apply to register it, the design will still be regarded as new.
  • Did you know that not only three-dimensional objects (designs), but also two-dimensional products (drawings) can be recorded? This could be a pattern for wallpaper, clothing or curtains, for instance. It could also be the form of a computer animation or app.
  • Did you know that a ‘Common Communication’ exists relating to the graphic representation of designs? This is a document published by the European Trade Mark and Design Network. It sets out the requirements for how a design should be represented. It also contains many practical examples relating to the types of views necessary, the use of dotted lines, contrast and colour, etc.
  • Did you know … that some design registrations that have expired are still stored by BOIP? These are design registrations for which in the past a copyright maintenance notice was also submitted. Even though the requirement for that notice was abolished in 2003, it can still have major consequences because without a notice, the copyright relating to the design also automatically expires then. Access to these files can still be requested from BOIP.

Two shaking hands

Hélène Nicora

Chief Representative Officer - Europe  
International Trademark Association (INTA) 

“The International Trademark Association wishes to congratulate the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property (BOIP) for its 50th Anniversary, and its long series of successes as an office."

Read more about INTA

Dries Dauwe

The Lab Brewer - The Brewing Community

"A brand is recognizable. It says what you do, who you are and what you stand for. We're proud of that. BOIP puts the icing on the cake and ensures this individuality. BOIP makes our brand unique."

Dries Dauwe leaning on blackboard showing 'The Lab Brewer'

Guest blogs

We have been fighting prejudices about intellectual property for years

Annemie Hautekiet‘You can only love what you know’ is a wonderful expression that is also valid for intellectual property (IP). Annemie Hautekiet works for VLAIO, Flanders Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Together with the rest of the IP team, she provides information on IP with the aim of removing misconceptions among entrepreneurs. VLAIO is an important business partner for BOIP. 

Read the entire interview

Intellectual property law is important for society

Carina Gommers“Congratulations and my very best wishes for BOIP’s 50th birthday! For every birthday - and certainly a special one like a 50th - it’s a good idea to take a moment to pause, to reflect a little on the past and look forward to the future.” Carina Gommers is a trademark lawyer. Here she takes a look with us at the profession and intellectual property law. 

Read the entire interview


What effect does artificial intelligence have on current trademark law? 

Marie-Christine JanssensMarie-Christine Janssens is Head of the CiTiP Research Centre (Centre for IT & IP Law) and Professor of Intellectual Property (IP) at the Catholic University of Leuven (K.U. Leuven). She teaches students about trademark law within the Benelux, the EU and worldwide. Here she tells us about how she enjoys working together with BOIP and about the rapidly changing world of trademark law. “I’m interested in the effects of artificial intelligence on trademark law.”  

Read the entire interview


The 1990s saw big changes in trademark practice.  Joop J. Elzas

“In 1983, when I was thrown in the deep end at Polak & Charlouis, the world of trademark protection looked very different to how it does today. There was a book published annually containing all Benelux trademarks listed in alphabetical order. Of course, as soon as it was published, it was already out of date.” These are the words of Joop J. Elzas. He works as an agent at Arnold & Siedsma, a legal firm specialising in inventions, trademarks and designs. Mr Elzas has more than thirty years of experience in the world of intellectual property. He takes us back in time and gives us an insight into the future. 

Read the entire interview


Old archive photo of old building BOIP on Bankastraat

The origins of BOIP

  • 1969 - On 1 July 1969, the Benelux Convention on commodity marks entered into force.
  • 1971 - In order to properly implement this treaty, the Benelux Trademark Office opened its doors on 1 January 1971.
  • 1974 – On 1 January, the Benelux Treaty on drawings and designs was born.
  • 1975 – Exactly one year later, the Benelux Office for Drawings or Designs was in operation.
  • 2006 - In 2006, the Benelux Convention on Intellectual Property (BCIP) entered into force. This replaced the separate rules for trademarks, drawings and designs with a single treaty. This is how the current Benelux Office for Intellectual Property was created from the Benelux Trademark Office and the Benelux Office for Drawings or Designs.
  • 2017 - In 2017 we introduced a new logo and a new corporate identity. Since its foundation in 1971, BOIP has been based in The Hague.
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