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.

By default, BOIP keeps your i-DEPOT confidential. You can, however, choose to make it public in whole or in part. You can also create a Non-Disclosure Agreement online linked to your i-DEPOT.

What do I have?

Log your idea in four steps

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

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.

BOIP's qualified trust service provider, QuoVadis, applies a reliable date stamp to your i-DEPOT and guarantees that its content has not been modified since it was submitted. For more information about QuoVadis and its accreditations and certifications, see their website.

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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.

Read more about publishing

Benefits of submitting an idea

  • Proof
    i-DEPOT provides you with dated, legal proof
  • Europe-wide validity
    The validity of the i-DEPOT certificate 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 37 euro. Extension is easy and cheap.
  • Secure and trustworthy
    Your idea will be stored encrypted in an i-DEPOT and receive a trustworthy date stamp.

Want to share your idea safely?

icon of a piece of paper with textAn i-DEPOT provides you with legal proof. If you want to share your idea with other parties, for example with potential investors or partners, it is wise to enter into a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) with them. Read more about the Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA)

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.

Read more about 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

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.

Does BOIP keep my i-DEPOT confidential?

Yes, by default, we keep your i-DEPOT confidential. You can decide for yourself whether to fully or partially publish an i-DEPOT. Please note: as soon as you publish your i-DEPOT in i-D Space yourself, the information that you have disclosed becomes open to all.

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?

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

BOIP is certified compliant with ISO 27001, 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 good order. Read more about our information security

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.

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