FAQ

Find answers to frequently asked questions here.
If you have a question that is not answered in our FAQ pages, you can contact our Information Centre.

General

How do I contact BOIP?

We will be pleased to answer your questions. You can contact us by telephone or by e-mail. Our Information Centre is open on working days from 8.30 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. If you apply for your trademark registration online, we will be able to assist you with the chat function.

 

How do I open a current account?

The procedure for opening a current account is as follows:

  • Send us a letter containing your name and address details;
  • Transfer at least 1,000 euro to our bank account, stating 'open current account' as the payment reference.

We will then send you a letter informing you of the current account number.

Is my data well protected at BOIP?

Protection of your data is essential to us. We have taken comprehensive technical and organisational measures to safeguard the availability, integrity and confidentiality of the data we manage.

Our information security policy is based on the international standard for information security. Security audits and penetration tests are carried out on a regular basis by reputable, external security companies. These audits consistently attest that our information security is perfectly in order.

For security reasons, we do not provide further details on how our services are secured.

Why do I need to login to use the services of BOIP?

We provide a secure digital environment to guarantee the security of your data and registrations: My BOIP. You can use My BOIP to administer your data and registrations with ease. Please note: never disclose your user name and password to anyone else! If you experience problems with logging in to or using My BOIP, please contact our Information Centre.

Trademarks

Can I patent my name?

No, that is not possible. Patents are only granted for technical inventions. You can protect a name, such as the name of your company or goods and services, under trademark law. Trademark law is different to patent law. You can apply for a trademark registration to protect your name. More about trademarks

I have registered my trademark. Can I now use the R sign?

Once your trademark is registered you can use the ®sign to advertise the registration of your trademark. This looks professional and inspires confidence in your customers. However, there is no law that prohibits the use of the ®sign for non-registered trademarks. The fact that a trademark bears the ®sign does not necessarily mean that it is actually registered. You can check whether a trademark is registered in the Benelux Trademarks Register, the official place of publication for registered trademarks.

Why is the Benelux Trademarks Register open to the public?

The Benelux Trademarks Register is open to the public because everybody must be able to check: 

  1. whether an identical or very similar trademark already exists, before they file a trademark application;
  2. whether an application has been made for the same or similar goods or services after your registration.

You can also view the deadline for filing an opposition (objection) in the Trademarks Register (always within two months of the date of publication).

Will I be sent an invoice?

We do not send invoices. Upon filing your trademark application, you will receive confirmation by e-mail. The PDF appended is also intended for your administrative records and contains an overview of the payable fees.

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'.  

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:


 

Voorbeeld geen model
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.

Ideas

Can I also submit an i-DEPOT on paper?

Yes. You can use the i-DEPOT envelope if you do not want to record the concept or idea in an electronic format, or if you are unable or unwilling to pay online. We will send you the i-DEPOT envelope upon receipt of the order form and your payment.

The i-DEPOT envelope comes in two sections. You place an identical document describing or showing your creation as clearly as possible in each of the two sections. You return both envelope sections to BOIP. BOIP will date your i-DEPOT envelope upon receipt. One section will be sent back to you, the second will be stored unopened in our archive. You can obtain this section from BOIP as evidence in the event of a dispute arising. You can only do this once.

Download Order form for i-DEPOT envelope

Can I use i-DEPOT to stop others from using my idea?

No, that is not possible. The i-DEPOT does not give you a monopoly, as a trademark, for instance, would. The i-DEPOT is a form of evidence (PDF with date stamp) that you can use to show when your creation existed. This could be useful in the event of a dispute in which you want to prove that your creation existed earlier.

I want to submit an i-DEPOT, but I cannot upload a file. What should I do?

There are two possible causes:

  1. Incorrect file format. Check that your file is in one of the following formats: pdf, jpg, jpeg, png, txt, doc, docx, doc, tif, tiff, xlsx, xls, pptx, ppt, png, gif, bmp, mov, mp3, mp4, m4v, avi, wmv, mpg, psd, wav, m4a, wma, aac, or zip;
  2. File size (MB) exceeded. Check the maximum size of the files you want to upload. You can add one or more files up to a maximum of 100 MB.

If you are still unable to upload files, please contact our Information Centre.

Is my idea or trade secret really secure in an i-DEPOT?

Yes, your idea or trade secret is absolutely safe in BOIP's i-DEPOT. Protecting your data is a priority for us. To that end, we have taken appropriate technical and organisational measures to safeguard the availability, integrity and confidentiality of the data we manage in i-DEPOT.

Our information security policy is based on the international standard for information security. In addition, security audits and penetration tests are performed on a regular basis. The results of these audits show time and time again that we have our information security in order. More information

When an i-DEPOT certificate is issued, your data is secured. The services of a qualified trust service provider are used to sign the electronic i-DEPOT certificate, as required by EU Regulation 910/2014 on electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions in the internal market (eIDAS). i-DEPOT content is not sent anywhere to have the date stamp and signature applied. On the contrary, it remains in a secure (encrypted) environment at BOIP. The end result is a digital certificate, bearing a trustworthy date stamp, that guarantees that the i-DEPOT has not been modified since it was submitted.

BOIP's qualified trust service provider is QuoVadis. QuoVadis complies with an array of independent audits and accreditations, including certification as a qualified Certification Services Provider (CSP) under the ETSI standards and ISO / IEC 27001. An overview of these accreditations and certifications is provided on the QuoVadis website.

Therefore, whatever the content you place in an i-DEPOT, be it an idea, concept or trade secret, you can rest assured that it is held under seal of confidentiality and strictly secured by BOIP.

Where is my i-DEPOT valid?

As a form of evidence, the i-DEPOT is not subject to any territorial limitation. This means that as a general rule you can use the i-DEPOT as evidence anywhere in the world. The court in the country in question will decide whether to admit it to the proceedings. European courts will always accept an i-DEPOT as evidence.

 

Registration and maintenance

Can I modify my design?

No. The design itself can never be modified. If you change an aspect of your design, you will need to apply for a new design registration.

Can I modify my trademark or design?

No. A trademark itself can never be modified. If you change an aspect of your trademark, if you alter your logo, for example, you will need to apply for a new trademark registration.

A design itself can never be modified. If you change an aspect of your design, you will need to apply for a new design registration.

How do I accelerate registration of my trademark?

During the filing process, you can request that your trademark registration be fast-tracked (step 3 in the application). An accelerated registration may be useful in cases where disputes are being brought before the courts, for example. It is possible to convert your application into an urgent application at any point in the application procedure. Please note: a surcharge applies for urgent registrations.

We will register your trademark as soon as we have checked that it meets the formal requirements. You should however bear in mind that a refusal or opposition could result in your registration being cancelled.
More about accelerated registrations 

How do I apply for a trademark or design registration online?

To apply for your registration, you will need to log in via My BOIP. Once logged in, you can apply for registration in five steps.  The application contains an instruction video that explains each step in more detail. You can pay directly online using among others iDEAL, Visa, Mastercard or Bancontact. Once you have completed your application, you will receive confirmation of receipt (PDF) of your application by e-mail. 

To My BOIP

How do I pay the fee?

If you apply for your trademark or design registration online, you can pay directly using:

  • iDEAL
  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • Maestro
  • Bancontact
  • Sofort
  • CBC Online
  • Belfius Netbanking
  • ING Homepay
  • KBC Online
  • Giropay

You can also transfer your payment to our bank account. Our details are given in My BOIP, in the menu to the left.

How do I renew (extend) my design registration?

A design registration is valid for five years. You can renew your design registration for a further five-year period from six months before the expiry date of your registration. You can do this via My BOIP. You can protect a design for a maximum of five times five years.

How do I renew my trademark registration?

A trademark registration is valid for ten years. You can renew your trademark registration for a further ten-year period from six months before the expiry date of your registration. You can do this via My BOIP.

I have received an invoice that probably does not originate from BOIP. What should I do?

Our registers are open to the public. As a result, you may be approached directly 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 trademark or design in a nebulous 'international register' for a stiff price. Such registers are not official and publication in them certainly does not confer any trademark or design rights. Do you suspect that an invoice is not legitimate? In that case, please contact our Information Centre.

More information

My trademark is already listed in the Trademarks Register. What should I do?

If your trademark is already listed in the Trademarks Register, check whether the goods and services for which the trademark is registered correspond to those for which you use or want to use your trademark. If so, it is possible that your trademark infringes someone else's trademark rights. The best way to avoid a dispute is to stop using your trademark for the goods and services in question as soon as possible. In such cases, it is better to devise a new trademark that does not encroach on anyone else's territory.

If the goods and services for which you want to apply for trademark registration do not correspond to the similar trademark you have found in the register, you can simply continue to register your trademark. For example: the trademarks for Ajax fire extinguishers and Ajax cleaning products can co-exist because the goods and services for which they are registered are completely different.

Are you concerned about whether you can register your trademark? If so, consult an external IP professional.

Will I be sent an invoice?

We do not send invoices. Upon filing your trademark application, you will receive confirmation by e-mail. The PDF appended is also intended for your administrative records and contains an overview of the payable fees. Have you filed a design application? If so, the PDF that you can download at the end of your application contains a statement of the fees, for your administrative records.

Our fees are exempt from VAT.

Trademark registration outside the Benelux

How much does it cost to extend my trademark registration internationally?

Whether or not your trademark registration can be extended to other countries depends on a number of factors. They include the number of classes, the countries to which you are extending the registration and whether the trademark is in colour. You can calculate the fees yourself using the WIPO fee calculator. WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) is the official body that administers the international trademarks register. The organisation is established in Switzerland, which is why the fees in the calculator are given in Swiss francs.

I have received an 'irregularity notice' from WIPO. What should I do?

An irregularity notice means that your application does not meet all of the formal requirements. WIPO sends a letter to you and BOIP explaining what is missing or requires clarification. If the notice concerns the goods and services, you will need to send your response to BOIP. You can do this by post or using the contact form. We will see to it that WIPO receives your response. Do not send your response directly to WIPO.

Design registration outside the Benelux

My BOIP

How does My BOIP work?

My BOIP is a personal, secure online environment in which you can easily apply for and administer all of your registrations and i-DEPOTs.  You can create three different types of account:

  • a personal (private) account;
  • an account for a sole proprietorship;
  • a business account.

Which type of account should I choose?

The choice of account type determines the details that appear in the applications you file with us. You can make this choice once only. If, at a later date, you no longer want your IP rights under your own name, but under your company name or vice versa, you can transfer them. To do this, you will need to create a new account for the company or person to which you are transferring them.

Is your company a sole proprietorship?

If so, you must indicate this when creating your account because there is a specific, legally-prescribed way of specifying the name of a sole proprietorship, i.e. Frida Bloemendaal, trading as Flower Specials.

Are you requesting registrations for someone else?

In one of the subsequent steps in applying for an account, you can indicate whether you will be using the account to apply for registrations for yourself or for other people or companies (as a legal intermediary). If you apply for registrations for other people or companies, we will assume that you are a legal intermediary who administers the intellectual property rights of various clients. Your details will also be given in the public information in the register and in the registration and i-DEPOT certificates. You will also be our first point of contact for all correspondence.

Do you own several companies? In that case, you are not deemed to be a legal intermediary. You will need to apply for a separate account for each company.

My e-mail address has changed. What should I do?

Remember to enter your new e-mail address in your account before you lose access to your old one. If you forget to do this, you will no longer have access to your account. Access cannot be restored. We advise you to always enter an alternative e-mail address.

The password I have entered is incorrect. What should I do?

Check whether your password meets the security criteria:

  • The password consists of at least 8 characters;
  • The password contains at least one of these characters: lower case letter, capital letter or figure;
  • The password does not contain your user name.
What is My BOIP?

You will need a My BOIP account to apply to BOIP for a registration, submit modifications, and so on. My BOIP is your own secure online environment in which you can easily apply for and administer all of your registrations and i-DEPOTs. You will also find the overview of any i-DEPOTs you have in My BOIP. Applying for a My BOIP is easy and free of charge.

Why am I unable to use a certain service?

If your account has several users, it is possible that the account administrator has assigned different rights to different users. To gain access to the service you want to purchase, you will need to contact your organisation's account administrator.

Why do I need to login to use the services of BOIP?

We provide a secure digital environment to guarantee the security of your data and registrations: My BOIP. You can use My BOIP to administer your data and registrations with ease. Please note: never disclose your user name and password to anyone else! If you experience problems with logging in to or using My BOIP, please contact our Information Centre.

Beware of misleading invoices!

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