Is design your primary focus, as an entrepreneur? If so, it may be wise to record your design or drawing (or a combination of both) by means of registering your design.

A design or drawing relates to the appearance of a product or part of a product, for example a new design for headphones, a watch, a coffee-maker, clothing or bag. The appearance, which is also referred to as the design, results from features such as lines, contours, colours, shape, texture or the materials of the product itself or its ornamentation. The design must be novel and have individual character.

You can record your design by registering it with BOIP. Doing so, affords you exclusive rights to use the design and, for example, enables you to protect your design or drawing from anyone who wants to copy or use it without authorisation. A design registration is valid for five years and can be extended (renewed) for five-year periods, up to a maximum of 25 years in total.

To claim a design right, the design must be novel and have individual character.

More about designs

Apply for design registration in four steps

Registration protects the appearance of your design. Registration costs apply. Follow the steps below to check what options and opportunities are open to you.


Why opt for design registration?

  • Monopoly on your design

    By registering it, you secure the exclusive right to use your design commercially.
  • Your design is a valuable asset
    You can sell or license your design, for instance.
  • Protected from unauthorised use
    If your design is registered, you can take action against competitors who copy it, i.e. use it without your authorisation.

Upon successful completion of the registration procedure, your design will be entered in the official Benelux Designs Register. You will receive confirmation to that effect. You can find a copy of your registration in My BOIP

Maintaining your design registration

Have you registered your design? If so, it is important to maintain your design registration. This involves extending your registration on time and keeping all the data up to date.

Read more about maintaining your design registration

My design was the basis of my company. Something that opens so many doors demands ultimate protection. Thanks to BOIP I have been able to successfully protect my design against copying.
Floor van de Water by LouLou
Floor van de Water
by LouLou
Your design reflects who you are. Others may not be able to do what you do, but they can always copy you. Therefore, protect your brand and register it!

Achraf Bahit
Achraf Bahit
'HYENAS' Art & Fashion

Design registration outside the Benelux

You can apply to register your design for the Benelux at BOIP. Do you (also) want to register your design outside the Benelux? If so, you can register it for the entire European Union, for example, or for specific countries inside or outside the European Union.

Read more about design registration outside the Benelux 

Frequently Asked Questions about Designs

Can I file several designs at the same time?

Yes. You can include several designs or drawings in a single application. View the current fees. Once you have uploaded an image, the application invites you to add another design. Click on the button '+ Add design'.  

Do I have to register my design in colour or in black and white?

The choice is yours. If you register your design in one colour, you limit the protection to that colour. If you register your design in black and white, the protection is limited to the black and white version of the design.

I want to avoid placing my design in the public domain, is that possible?

All design applications are confidential until they are published as registered designs in the Trademarks Register. Do you want a longer confidentiality period? If so, DURING the filing of your design application, request to have publication suspended. You can request to have publication of your design suspended for a maximum of one year. This period starts on the filing date or the date of priority.
The suspension applies to all designs and images in the application. You can ask for the suspension period to be ended at any time.

Images of the design: what do I need to bear in mind?

It is important that all of the features you want to protect are clearly shown in the images.

You can add various views of a single design. For example: a perspective view, a general view, and a top view.

Other points:

  • one image for each view;
  • neutral background (the design must be clearly visible);
  • you are not permitted to provide explanations in texts, legends, or technical dimensions;
  • visual disclaimers with a drawing: use a dotted line to show elements that do not form part of the design;
  • visual disclaimers in a photograph: blur elements in the photo that do not form part of the design;
  • file format: JPG, 200 to 300 dpi, print format between 1.5 and 8 cm, no larger than 2 MB.

Example of an incorrect image:


Example of an incorrect image
The only text that may be included in the image is an indication of the viewing angle (front, side or rear view, for example). No other text is permitted in the image, such as an indication of materials and dimensions.
Why is the Benelux Designs Register open to the public?

The Benelux Design Register is open to the public because everyone must be able to check:

  • whether a given design already exists, before they file a design application;
  • whether conflicting design registrations have been entered in the Design Register.

The Register contains neither pending design applications nor unpublished registered designs.

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