For anyone who comes up with new ideas regularly, storing them in a BOIP i-DEPOT is a good option. An idea as such cannot be protected. However, it may well be possible to protect a tangible expression of the idea, i.e. an actual product, process or service, by securing design, patent or trademark rights, for instance. 


There are times, however, when it is useful to be able to demonstrate that an idea already existed at a given point in time, for instance if a dispute arises and you want to prove that your idea takes precedence.

It can therefore be sensible to log each relevant idea, in order to be able to prove later that you created, devised or designed it. An i-DEPOT serves as proof and can be used for various purposes and with respect to various intellectual property rights.

What do I have?

Benefits of submitting an idea

  • Proof
    i-DEPOT provides you with dated, legal proof
  • Europe-wide validity
    The validity of the i-DEPOT evidence is recognised throughout the EU.
  • Useful in the event of a dispute
    If someone claims that they thought up your creation, your i-DEPOT can help you prove the contrary.
  • Inexpensive
    You can secure an i-DEPOT for five years for 36 euro. Extension is easy and cheap.

Date stamp

An i-DEPOT is legal proof bearing a date stamp. It is proof that your creation existed on a certain date. An i-DEPOT does not confer (intellectual) property rights and therefore, like a notarial deed, provides no protection. When you are developing a new idea or creation, an i-DEPOT can be the first step on the path to protection.


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Private or public?

By default, BOIP keeps your i-DEPOT confidential. You can, however, choose to make it public in whole or in part on i-D Space.

More about publishing

Log your idea in four steps

You can submit your i-DEPOT directly online. It is fast, easy and inexpensive to do.

Maintain your i-DEPOT

An i-DEPOT needs to be maintained and renewed on time. You can also transmit your i-DEPOT to someone else or make your i-DEPOT public.

Maintaining an i-DEPOT 

An invention means a new technology. The inventor will need to experiment some more before arriving at potential applications. Until that time, the invention will be protected by an i-DEPOT with a FIXED DATE.
Eric Parein
Eric Parein

i-DEPOTs submitted by entrepreneurs until February 2018

Created by potrace 1.10, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2011

Frequently Asked Questions about i-DEPOT

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.

How do I open a credit account?

You can open a credit account via My BOIP; a one-off fee of 200 euro applies. You will need a My BOIP account to log in. Creating an account is free of charge and takes just a couple of minutes. You can only use a credit account for i-DEPOTs. You cannot use credits to pay to register a trademark or design.

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.