Protecting your intellectual property is important. What do you want to register?
The exclusive right to a design does not arise automatically the first time it is used, but by filing an application. An exception to this is the unregistered Community Design
Step 1: Check whether your design is novel and has its own individual character
A design must be novel and have its own individual character .
Novel means that your design must not already be known on the date on which you apply for the design registration or the priority date, e.g. through publication on a website, in an advertising leaflet, at an exhibition, or through its trading. More about novel
Individual character means that your design must not strongly resemble a design that is already known. More about 'distinctive character'
Before applying to register your design, you must carefully consider whether it is novel and has its own distinctive character. We will not check this for you.
How do I know whether my design is novel and has an individual character?
- Search the Benelux Designs Register to check whether an identical or very similar design has already been published: This is the official place of publication for drawings and designs. It contains the details and images pertaining to drawings and designs registered in the Benelux from 1 January 2012, as well as details of renewals and modifications. It does not, however, contain pending requests and unpublished registrations. Designs registered before 1 January 2012 can be reviewed in the Benelux Industrial Designs Gazette.
You will find Community designs (EU) and international designs in the EUIPO and WIPO registers respectively.
- Search in trade literature, magazines or on the internet to check whether an identical or very similar design already exists.
Doubts about whether your design is new and has its own individual character?
If so, seek the advice of an external IP professional.
Step 2: Select where you want to protect your design.
Register your design online in the Benelux
BOIP is the registration body for designs in the Benelux and administers the Designs Register. You can register your design in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg at the same time with us. It is not possible to register your design separately in one of these countries. We'll be pleased to help you with the registration process.
Register your design outside of the Benelux
Do you also trade outside of the Benelux? There are various ways of registering your design outside of the Benelux. This can be arranged at once for the whole of the EU or for several countries. More about registration outside of the Benelux
You do not need a basic registration in the Benelux to apply for an international design registration. This is unlike the international application for trademark registration.
Step 3: Check the formal requirements
Your application must meet a number of formal requirements to be accepted..
- Use images in which the distinctive features of your design are clearly apparent. These are what ultimately determine the protection of your design. It may also be advisable to file images showing the design from various angles, such as the top or the side view. You must send at least one image with your application. This must be a general, front, or perspective view.
- Clearly state in your application what the design is (the 'product'), preferably using the wordings given in the International Locarno Classification. You can use the search function in the application for this purpose.
- State the name of the applicant (person or company).
- The design must not be contrary to public order or good morals.
- Pay the fees for your application within a month of filing it at the latest.
- If this is applicable to you, ask for the publication of your design to be suspended when applying for your registration.
The official date of your application (filing date) is the date on which all of these requirements are met. We will contact you if your application does not meet the formal requirements. It is important for you to respond within the indicated period. If we do not receive your response on time, your design will not be registered and the fees you have paid will not be refunded.
Step 4: Apply for your design registration
You are almost ready to apply for your design registration. You will need a My BOIP account for this. It takes just a few minutes to create an account. Do you already have an account? Log in directly.
Would you prefer not to file your design online? In that case you will need to complete the paper form. A surcharge applies for paper applications. The charges are stated in the explanatory notes.
Do you wish to receive advice?
BOIP is an independent organisation. We are therefore not allowed to give you personal advice. An external IP professional can advise you on how best to protect your trademark or design. If required, the IP professional can process the entire registration procedure on your behalf.