Registration of a design starts with the application. Learn more about how your application is processed below.
You can file your application for registration directly online. When applying, you may request that publication of your application be put on hold. In this way, publication can be postponed for a maximum of twelve months. You may want to do this, for example, to avoid competitors becoming aware of your design. A design registration is only visible to the public after publication.
Check formal requirements
We can only process your application if it meets a number of formal requirements. If your application does not meet the formal requirements, we will contact you. It is important that you answer us by the deadlines that we set. If we do not receive your response in due time, your design will not be registered and the costs incurred will not be refunded.
The official date of your application (filing date) is the date on which all formal requirements have been met. The filing date is important when determining which design has precedence in the event of a dispute.
BOIP does not investigate whether your design is new and has individual character or whether it meets the other requirements to qualify as a design. BOIP does, however, check whether the design is contrary to public order or morality. This will rarely be the case.
Design registration and publication
If all formal requirements are met, your design will be registered and published. If you requested when applying that publication be suspended, your design will be fully registered and published when the suspension period has expired. You can also cancel the suspension at any time.
The Designs Register is public. Upon publication, the details of your registration appear in the Register. As a result, you may be approached by parties offering various services. The practices of some of these service-providers are less than desirable. They are often based outside the Benelux and offer to enter your design in a nebulous 'international register' for a stiff price. Such registers are not official and publication therein certainly does not confer any design rights. If you have concerns about the authenticity of a service offered, please contact our Information Centre.
It falls to you to take action against infringement of design rights. It is a matter for the courts to determine whether infringement has taken place.
In the event that there is a dispute over who is entitled to the design rights, the actual designer can claim the application within five years of the registration being published. The actual designer can also claim that the application and the design rights are invalid on the same basis. There is no deadline to invoke this claim (revocation). Any action for vindication or revocation must be initiated before the courts. The action for vindication must be recorded in the Designs Register.
In addition to petitioning for an injunction, the claimant may apply inter alia for damages and the surrender of profits (in the case of deliberate infringement) and claim ownership of the infringing goods.
Are you faced with an action for vindication or revocation? An IP professional can advise you on what to do for the best.