BOIP in 2018
As the official body responsible for trademark and design registration in the Benelux, we are constantly working to improve our online services. Our customers count on our systems being available and reliable. In 2018, hard work was put in again on all fronts to ensure that the way that we perform our statutory duties is optimal.
Want to know more about our results and activities in 2018? Keep on reading!
Regulations and policy
Given that two amending protocols entered into force in 2018 and preparations were needed for a third, which took effect on 1 March 2019, we certainly were not idle! In addition, all the groundwork was done for changes to the tariff structure to apply from 1 January 2019. You will find more on our main activities in the field of legislation and policy in 2018 below.
Project: Entry into force of various protocols amending the Benelux Convention on Intellectual Property (BCIP).
Done in 2018: Groundwork for entry into force of the protocols, e.g.:
- Adjustments to internal processes and systems
- Changes to online applications and the register
- Updating our knowledge and tools
- Training staff
- Communication with users
Result: All protocols were presented and discussed in detail with users during two successful study days, on 17 May and 13 December 2018.
Project: Adjustment of the tariff structure to apply from 1 January 2019, such that the basic fee now covers one class only, and a surcharge is applied for each subsequent class.
Done in 2018: Preparatory work to adapt the tariff structure, e.g.:
- Consultations with users (in the Benelux Council for Intellectual Property) and discussions with political stakeholders
- Alignment of front-office applications and in-house systems on the new tariff structure
- Adjustment of the renewal application to allow renewal of only a subset of classes
- Updating of various means of communication, e.g. letters, e-mails, website
Result: An improvement in the trademark system which is of benefit to users. Fewer classes per trademark application makes for a cleaner register, fewer disputes between users and lower costs.
BOIP is continuing to develop as an online service provider. Our customers need effective, highly available applications and so we are continually making improvements to them. We monitor our applications constantly and so are aware at all times whether they are available and can ensure that they stay available. Our customers must be able to use well-functioning applications with high availability. You can read more about our most important IT projects in 2018 below.
Project: Complete rebuild of back-office system for trademarks and opposition
Done in 2018:
- Connection of the back office to other in-house systems, such as financial and correspondence systems
- Revision of all letters
- Data migration: transfer of approximately 30 years of 'history' from the old to the new system
- Connection with front-office applications supporting on-line filing of trademarks and oppositions
- Training for all examiners and lawyers, revision of operating procedures and compilation of manuals
- In-house and external communication on the effects of implementation.
Result: The new system went live in December 2018. This is a major step on the road to a paperless BOIP and improved efficiency.
Project: New registers for CaribIE, the Benelux and Sint Maarten
Done in 2018: Work on building the new registers began
Result: The new CaribIE register went live in April 2019. It includes improved search facilities, a new user interface and the requisite information security enhancements.
Project: My BOIP Message Box
Done in 2018: Work on building the module began
Resultaat: An online module where customers read and answer correspondence (version 1.0 went live in May 2019).
Project: New B2B service
Done in 2018: Implementation of the tool
Result: This tool facilitates data transfer by our largest users.
Organisation and future
We also worked hard on the organisational front to ensure that the way that our vision and mission are put into practice and our primary tasks discharged is optimal. For example, we took various initiatives concerning knowledge management and information security. In addition, administrative support functions were restructured in 2018, resulting, unfortunately, in five employees being let go.
The key work done to improve the organisation are listed below:
- Various information-security improvements made, e.g. policy documents developed and a management system established.
- A security audit was conducted in 2018, which concluded that both our applications and infrastructure were secure.
- The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was implemented in May 2018.
- An information security awareness campaign for BOIP staff was run in the autumn.
We are working to maintain, update and progressively bolster our IP knowledge. To this end, we are running an interactive programme to motivate staff to step up their IP knowledge.
"BOIP and the Future" Think Tank
A working party made up of staff from various departments is investigating the impact of new technologies, such as AI, blockchain and platforms, on the IP sector, on how intellectual property is perceived in general and, of course, on our own organisation.
Information and Promotion
Alerting entrepreneurs to the importance of protecting their trademarks and designs and of securing an official record of their ideas is one of BOIP's statutory tasks. We provide all the relevant information inter alia by means of our website, brochures, seminars and information sessions. Here is a run-down of our main information and awareness-raising activities in 2018.
- Campaign on trade secret protection, in conjunction with the Netherlands Patent Office (OCNL), commissioned by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy: www.bedrijfsgeheim.nl
- Various activities in Belgium targeting accountants and tax advisers
- Launch of the English-language version of our ThatsIP intellectual property e-learning tool
- Customer survey targeting entrepreneurs: what do they need; what do they want?
- Participation in the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce "Ondernemersplein"
- Various activities in cooperation with the Netherlands IP Platform, which, in addition to BOIP, comprises the Netherlands Patent Office, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, the Chamber of Commerce and the Board for Plant Varieties
- Trademark-registration event "Brand your Plant" on 3 December 2018, aimed at plant growers and breeders in the Netherlands.
The Benelux Office for Intellectual Property (BOIP) is the official body responsible for registering trademarks and designs in the Benelux. In addition, BOIP can record the existence of an idea as at a specific date in an i-DEPOT. More about BOIP
Would you like to stay up to date on our projects and activities? If so, click on the News tab on our website regularly and follow us on social media.