Many entrepreneurs still believe that with their trade name and registration with the Chamber of Commerce in the Netherlands or the Crossroads Bank for Enterprises (KBO) in Belgium they have the sole right to the use of that name.
We provided information about the difference between a brand name and a trade name in a previous article. In this article, we provide you with three useful tips on how to gain the monopoly over the name of your company, service or product and how to protect it.
1) Trademark registration ensures monopoly
By registering your trade name as an official trademark, you gain the monopoly over the name. You are then the only person who can use your brand name for the products and services under which you have registered the name.
You can register your trademark yourself with the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property (BOIP). Your registration is then immediately valid for all three Benelux countries: Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. The fee for basic registration of your trademark is 244 Euro. Your registration is then valid for ten years and is renewable indefinitely.
Register your trademark in four steps
Registration protects the value of your brand. Be aware: There is a lot to consider when applying for trademark registration. And there are costs involved. Use these four steps to check what opportunities and possibilities are open to you.
Start the four steps
2) Prevent infringement on your trademark and do not commit any infringement yourself
With your trademark registration with BOIP, you can prevent similar trade names, brand names and in some cases even domain names in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. Make sure you also do not infringe on a name that someone else already has the monopoly over. That is why you must check beforehand whether your trade name already exists as a trademark.
In the Benelux Trademarks Register you can easily see if your trademark already exists. This official register contains all the trademarks applied for and registered that are valid in the three Benelux countries. The Benelux Trademarks Register also shows which products and/or services a trademark has been registered for. This provides a reliable picture of any existing trademarks that are identical or similar to your brand name.
What do you need to think about when registering your trademark?
Prepare your registration properly. By doing so, you will reduce the risk of other brands wanting to withhold your registration, or of your application being refused. On our page ‘All about trademarks’ you can read about what you need to take into account when registering your trademark.
3) Monitor your trademark
Once you have registered your trademark, you should keep an eye on whether anyone else uses your trademark, or one that is similar to it, without your permission. We make that monitoring extra easy for you with the BOIP Trademark Alert. If you subscribe to this BOIP digital notification service, we send you automatic notifications whenever anyone applies for a trademark that is similar to yours. You decide whether you want to follow that trademark. It means you can take action in good time.
Do you want to register your trademark yourself?
Follow the 4 trademark registration steps
Would you rather outsource registering your trademark? Find an IP professional through the Benelux Association for Trademark and Design Law.